A breath of fresh air for Retail

In 2022, retail is changing. Now more than ever, the sector must adapt, change and evolve to meet the needs of the customer.

We spoke with Tammy Callahan, Director of Sales & Account Management, to get the lowdown on what to expect in 2022 for the retail sector. We look at this year’s trends, new customer behaviors and what to expect for in-store experiences.

#1 How are consumer behaviors and preferences, specifically their adoption of digital behaviors, influencing retailers’ store design decisions?

Retail is living through a process of crisis and change and with it comes an opportunity for transformation. 

The concept of “store” is no longer just a “store. It’s an open concept which brands can adapt to respond to their consumer’s behaviors and preferences. It’s about being flexible.

The digital and physical experience needs to be more integrated than ever before.  It needs to be interchangeable for a truly connected experience.  It allows the consumer to be immersed in the brand seamlessy whether they choose to shop online or in-store.

#2 What creative / technical elements do you believe should be included to best align and level up the store environment?

Online and offline is more important than ever. Omnichannel is not just a buzzword.

Creative elements: An opportunity to experiment with new concepts, materials, and technologies. The pop-up store allows brands to expand and experiment.

Technical: don’t include technical elements or technology just for the sake of it. It must make sense to the consumer.

#3 Are there any strategic questions that design and experience teams should ask to ensure they’re making the right tactical decisions? How can they best align the right tech and visual solutions?

Know your customer! It sounds basic but you need to research and now your customer, their journey and how they use what you sell.

Know your brand! What is your brand? Deliver the brand ‘s purpose via tech and visual solutions as if you aren’t, what’s the point?

Know the store! Make the store space work for the brand and the customer. It should be connected (digital), and it should be able to change (visual).

Retailer know that many consumers still look for a unique in-store experience.  The goal is to create a want for the online buyers to physically visit.  They also want to be comfortable with their decision.  Online buyers like to be in the drivers seat. 

It’s our job to create interactive and engaging environments. This can include integrating QR codes, self service stations and informative digital screens.  Displays that require information or action from the consumer are key.  Online buyers have everything they need to know at their fingertips and truly like to be well informed. 

Retailers should include unique settings that can showcase product information, reviews and comparisons.

#4 Should anyone else be in the room from the digital, marketing and merchandising teams? Why?

Most often during design brainstorming sessions, we like to include various team members that are essential to the buying experience.  This can include marketing, merchandising and design.  It’s important to gather analytics on the buyers habits and trends from every outlet…social media, online website, in-store, etc.

#5 What are the environmental implications for creating highly immersive, engaging in-store experiences? Do you find that more design teams and even consumers are assessing the energy and materials used in store environments?

Retail is becoming more conscious of its role in terms of environmental impact and responsible consumerism. It’s driven by customer preferences, but brands are also taking ownership and making inroads when it comes to going “green”.

Retailers are looking to source more environmentally friendly solutions that they can implement when creating in-store experiences. But going green doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on quality.

HIGHLIGHT some green brands doing it well in the USA.. Primark, Athleta etc.

#6 How is your company raising awareness and guiding retailers through this issue? Are there any unknowns or overlooked facets that you help to spotlight for retailers looking at redesigning their stores or rolling out new concepts?

Kendu has always placed importance on green retail. Even before it was “cool”. “We Live Blue” initiatives as a company. ARE THERE SOME USA IDEAS THAT CAN INCLUDE?  We are offering the same as Spain. 

For clients, Kendu offers eco-friendly solutions such as Flowbox. Eco-design. Lower energy consumption than screens. Recycled SEG.

New eco alternatives for retailers for pop-ups and for SEG. Watch this space

#7 How do you think the role of the store will continue to change or evolve over the next 12 to 24 months? How do you believe what consumers are looking for from the store experience will change?

The physical store experience is and continues to be THE place where the consumer and the brand come together. They meet face-to-face. They engage. The brand can communicate and express its identity and essence to the consumer in the flesh as it were.

Through store design, visual communications and the materials used, the brand can build true engagement with the consumer. It’s a space where connections are made. A place where the brand identity, values and ethics come to life. And brands must capitalize on it.

The store experience is flexible and interchangeable. We’re seeing it with trends such as stores without stock or product based solely on experience, the merging of online and offline (technology that HELPS the customer not only engages them), the pop-up whether it’s a new location, within a store or in a different space all together and the green store, with a focus on eco-friendly solutions.

#8 What technologies and / or design principles will help guide stores into this new era? What will be key to helping retailers differentiate successfully?

The physical store experience offers a unique emotional journey where the customers can touch and feel the product.

New design principals for stores focus on this with an emphasis on showcasing selected products “museum style”.

Technologies: the physical must form part of an omnichannel strategy and blend the offline/online customer experience: click & collect, trying in the store and then home delivery, in-store assistance booked prior, smart fitting rooms and more.

Meet Tammy Callahan

Chicago native, Tammy Callahan was appointed Director of Sales & Account Management US at Kendu in 2019. With over 20 years of experience in the retail and design industry, she leads and manages the US sales team nationwide.

Callahan has a wealth of experience working with architects, designers, visual merchandisers and store planners. Her most recent role allowed her to partner in bringing the retail division and the value proposition to market as well as increasing the presence of brand tenfold.

Callahan uses both a creative and strategic process with Kendu’s clients to provide a solution that will exceed their expectations, meet all their needs and maintain their budget while increasing their ROI.

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