Good retail is knowing how people live and shop, and therefore how we should sell. Today it is still amazing at times when we see people viewing retail only as the physical store. A store is not a place to buy stuff from. When it comes to the design industry, we are finally back to the fairs, from Salone del Mobile in Milano to Maison&Objet. In 2022 these events returned to the pre-pandemic levels. And the most successful exhibition booths and pavilions have massively changed the approach in the way they communicate with their visitors, customers as well as clients such as architects and interior designers.
This forces us to look into the power of the physical store itself. The perfect example is the ceramic tile display and the way the industry servicing interior designers and architects has massively shifted since 2019. Ceramic tile producers are truly at the forefront, taking note of the ever changing consumer behaviour.
The Importance of Physical Store
The true testament to a different role of a physical store or a promotional booth comes easily as an explanation to Amazon‘s recent decision to focus on opening department stores. The model just as their web shop is bringing us closer to the emotion of convenience. This convenience sentiment is also a key part for any business in the industry. The physical storefront of any brand also needs to focus on efficiency. The “brick and mortar” now has a completely different role, it is encouraging our clients to build relationships with people, while online is still important the IRL experience is also a must-have. The brands most successful at what they do are now encouraging their consumers to dwell time in their showrooms.
Convenience Becoming a Brand
We are all familiar with Apple’s business model, where the brand is far beyond its products. While the Genius Bar might not be what fits every business model, even in interior design we have a lot to learn from this widely successful business model. Where convenience is the key to every aspect. There is now an entirely new ecosystem surrounding consumers. The question is how do we relate to customers in both passive discovery and active search mode? The traditional shop needs a massive makeover.
Connect With Your Brand
We need to ask ourselves how much curation we want the consumer to see. Where and how do we want to offer the brand’s point of view and vision of a shopping experience to our consumers. At the same time we must explore a social value implemented into the local ecosystem of our clients. A truly contemporary business must utilize its physical presence to not just offset but to also implement novel sustainable moves across the entire experience.
The result is simple, a new manner of seeing loyalty experience. Our customers need to receive special service. This includes a showroom offering a highly personalised service, whether it is a one on one or group of people in store experience. Together with our customers in the contemporary showroom we need to feel part of a club.
Showrooms are thus creating dedicated areas for professionals such as interior designers, architects and realtors alike. With every aspect truly digitalized and allowing an abundance of information at our fingertips. This while creating loyalty with your customers is also to result in a much faster purchasing decision.
Time for change, indeed. The post pandemic experience is allowing us to shape our business in a way that’s good for us and our own community of employees, but also truly for people and even the planet.