Retail design can improve the customer experience
The challenge of retail design
Over the past few years, the retail sector has experienced a period of profound change and innovation, driven by the need to evolve and adapt to the new challenges of consumer behaviour in the digital age.
Physical sales spaces and e-commerce now coexist: the challenge of retail is to maintain a good balance between the two sales channels and to reconsolidate itself as a tangible and experiential symbol of a brand.
Emotions are part of our being and often determine our purchasing decisions - both online and offline. In a shop, design, materials, lights, sounds and colours create the conditions for a unique and unforgettable shopping experience that involves all five of the customer’s senses.
From the shop window to the interior spaces of the shop, design elements convey immediate emotions by capturing people's attention, enhancing the value of the products on display, improving their legibility in space, guiding users along specific experiential paths, in organised flows, and increasing the comfort of the shopping experience.
One of the main trends in retail design is the recreation of a space that is homely, familiar, friendly, and welcoming at the point of sale. Environments that evoke your own sphere of comfort - such as the living room of a house, a personal library, a bar, a gym - take shoppers back to the moments they love most in their lives, inducing them to choose whether or not to buy without stress, and in a pleasant space.
Practical and flexible materials
Today, to keep up with the changes in communication (especially online) and with the fleeting fashions and trends that follow one another, sales spaces often need to be rethought from an aesthetic point of view, to avoid losing the interest of audiences who have become increasingly demanding and fickle.
This, together with the large flow of customers passing through shops, makes it necessary to use materials that are resistant, versatile, easy to install on site, and easy to clean. Indeed, the image of a brand is also conveyed through the care (cleaning, maintenance, safety, etc.) of its environments. Luxury commercial spaces, for example, prefer designs that make use of precious materials - such as marble or precious woods - but simultaneously require that all environments are always impeccably presented.
Indeed, natural materials often present technical and performance characteristics that are not particularly suitable for situations involving medium/high levels of traffic.
Porcelain stoneware is a sustainable and practical material with high aesthetic qualities, making it particularly suitable for application in retail design. Indeed, porcelain stoneware slabs offer high technical performance and are aesthetically versatile; they are available on the market in a wide range of colours, sizes and finishes, making them highly suitable for telling the story of a brand and its message.
The possibility of using stoneware by overlaying existing stoneware with self-laying systems is a very important feature, because it allows spaces to be readapted with great ease. Unlike other natural materials, like marble or wood, porcelain stoneware remains unchanged over time - even if subject to constant use: its impermeability and low porosity also make it easy to clean.
In summary, physical shops must acquire new strength by conveying brand identity in a decisive and original way. This objective can be achieved by rethinking the shopping experience in terms of both how it is done as well as the places where this takes place: retail design has therefore affirmed itself as the spearhead of brand marketing.