Chanda P Kumar
The Essence Of Social Experience In Store Design
The store today is not just playing the role of physical 'retail' space but one that is immersive and engaging the customer to become a part of the experience.
As humans we don’t just enjoying observing and witnessing something in the ‘making’, but we love creating as the act of ‘making something’ is innate among us.
Customers love having a say in what they are doing, trying and buying. Empowering them at the store is crucial. The store design of today must also be able to connect and entertain with the Gen Z and Millennials who thrive on social media. Elements, experiences and engagement must have the ability to make them fall in love with the brand, as emotions & deep connect is vital to standout in today’s expansive retail scenario and turn them into brand advocates.
Louis Vuitton Pop-Up at Bijenkorf Department Store, Amsterdam (https://retaildesignblog.net/2022/09/20/louis-vuitton-pop-up-store-5/)
Influencers today have a pivotal role in brand promotion and reaching their TG. In retail design too, we need to integrate influencers & their function into the store concept, zoning and design process, so that it can support their spatial, visual and activation requirements.
Social experience design can come alive in several ways, here are just a few thoughts:
We love taking that next cool ‘selfie’ for our Insta. Attractive elements such as visual merchandising props, furniture, graffiti on walls or screens reflect and heighten the essence of the brand and create instagrammable moments while shopping. A spot for pause & connect that creates immense brand recall & experience at the store.
Element of surprise
Think about how set design and theatre can transport you to different times and different rooms. Store environments take take advantage of this to infuse freshness and bring in temporary design & spatial elements that are relevant to seasonality, freshness or even the latest buzz in movies or music.
Voicing the values
Well crafted brands come with core values and ideology. Customers are increasingly standing by brands with values that resonate with today’s context.
Wilson Flasghip Store, New York (https://vmsd.com/wilson-sporting-goods-turns-first-physical-stores-into-ultimate-urban-playgrounds/)
The store offers the perfect platform to showcase such ideology with impactful visual communication, quotations and content, that could be include 'call to action' elements. Digital content also come with the power to go beyond the message and create action-led engagement such as raising support for causes & more.
Reddy By Petco, New York (https://vmsd.com/petcos-new-soho-shop-is-not-your-average-pet-store/)