As the retail industry continues to evolve, it’s important for retailers to continue to offer more than just a product. Consumers are looking for true experiences when they go shopping and having this level of engagement can set your retail space apart from competitors.

Here are five steps to designing retail space with experiences in mind whether you are a seasoned retailer looking to revamp your space or a new retailer entering the market.

1. Associates Should Transition from Salesperson to Expert

Retailers who want to stay competitive need to ensure that they are training their employees to become more than a salesperson and transition into an expert guide to the service or product. You need to have a retail space that is designed to accommodate your employees and help them relate better to shoppers. They need to relate to consumers in a memorable way and blur the lines between employee and customer.

2. Offer a Hands-On Experience

Make the retail space truly interactive by allowing your consumers and shoppers to use the product in the store. Try to determine how best to showcase your product in unique and different ways that offer a true experience. This goes along with having associates who are true experts on the product and can offer guidance when consumers are testing it out. If a consumer can truly experience the product before buying it, they are less likely to return it, which can help boost sales.

3. Bring Your Website In-Store

Enhance the brick-and-mortar experience by letting shoppers browse your online store while at your physical location. This can be a great value-add experience and can help drive traffic to your physical stores. This can be a great tool if you have multiple store locations or warehouses and don’t carry the same inventory in every store. Allowing customers to browse your e-commerce offerings in-store shows them products that you may not have on site. If they see something they’d like to purchase, one of your associates can place the order for them and ship it right to their doorstep.

4. Change the Checkout Experience

You would be surprised at how many people choose not to purchase an item based on how long the checkout line is. Research from Irisys shows that Americans will abandon a checkout line and leave a store after eight minutes of waiting. This means you need more than just traditional checkout lines. Apple has adopted the option to checkout via a mobile device where associates can go to the consumer when they are ready to check out.

5. Offer Immersive Experiences

If you want to really make a long-lasting impression on your customers, create a retail environment that grabs their full attention. Retailers are beginning to create an experience by using technology like Virtual Reality. IKEA even opened a concept called The Dining Club, which is a temporary pop-up store that allows guests an opportunity to run their own restaurant built with IKEA products. This offers an experience and brings brand and product awareness in a subtle way.

About NAI/Merin Hunter Codman

Through our corporate services group, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman provides value-added tenant representation and corporate services for corporations with local, national or worldwide real estate needs. The firm serves as a single point of contact, whether for one property or hundreds of properties or leases. We assist in evaluating opportunities, optimizing existing portfolios, planning new facilities, site selection, and managing and leasing corporate facilities, aided by award-winning technology that allows the firm to monitor and flag every step electronically, tailored specifically to client needs. Electronic monitoring is available for client review from anywhere in the world and can track everything from the real-time status of leases up for renewal and milestones in capital improvements to the progress of planned developments.

– Tenant/Buyer representation
– Demographic, market data & feasibility analysis
– Relocation studies
– Property, facilities and asset management
– Due diligence
– Investment acquisition/sales
– Development/redevelopment analysis
– Structured lease finance

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman’s history of prestigious clients includes BP Amoco, Wackenhut, Nextel, Walgreens, Spring, Amdahl, Oasis Outsourcing, GTECH Corp., Jennifer Convertibles, Daleen Technologies, Christofle, Christian Dior, Foster Wheeler Environmental Corp., Lydian Private Bank, and many others.

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