The Value of Experiential Retail Spaces

It’s been well publicised that the high street has been struggling with the surge in online shopping. Now that it’s quicker and easier than ever to make your purchases with the touch of a button, online retailers have boomed. However, running alongside the rise in online shopping is the rise in influencer marketing. Millenials in particular are taking to social media to find their latest trends and hang out spots. The high street has responded with experiential retail spaces; the newest, most exciting place to be seen.

The Value of Experiential Retail Spaces’s the job of designers and engineers to create a space that’s visually pleasing as well as usable and practical

What is an experiential retail space?

Experiential retail is a form of retail marketing where customers coming into a physical retail space are offered experiences outside the traditional way of shopping. It must appeal to consumer senses and go above and beyond the product offerings of the particular store. It has to offer consumers a 360-degree experience. The space should elevate the offering, highlighting the quality of the products. Often, the focus will be more on customer engagement than the traditional hard sell, therefore it’s vital the space is engaging and flows well.

From an engineering point of view, it’s our responsibility to ensure any installations, building or redesigns aid the flow of the experience in a safe and practical way. We get to exercise our creative muscles to bring these concepts to life. The challenge comes in creating a space that’s not only an immersive experience, but also one that compliments the products available. Parable has worked on a range of projects, including a stunning retail space for Charlotte Tilbury, an industry-leading cosmetics brand.

Why does it work?

With Instagram and influencer culture forming a huge proportion of modern marketing, it’s the job of designers and engineers to create a space that’s visually pleasing as well as usable and practical. Creating deliberate photo opportunities will allow retailers to maximise the marketing power of technology-minded millennials hoping to ‘pioneer’ the next trend. Apparel brand, Vans created an enormous indoor skate park in one of their stores. Not only could their target demographic come and buy their latest products, they could come and spontaneously hang out and share the experience on social media. Suddenly the high street store has a much wider function than just coming to buy your latest pair of trainers.

Retailers online presence can also be brilliantly supported by a stream of physical experiences for their customers. Through a series of pop up events, brands can create a sense of exclusivity and scarcity. Huda Beauty, a fast growing cosmetics brand, hosted their first ever pop up in the prime location Covent Garden in November 2019 to promote their new Mercury Retrograde range. The central London location made it easy for thousands of customers to come and engage with the experience when they may have only ever previously bought products online.

Engineering in the commercial and retail sector presents it’s own unique challenges. Part of the fun is finding solutions to these challenges to create something that's immersive, engaging and that has never been seen before.

At Parable, we strive to push the boundaries of what's possible with the power of state-of-the-art engineering, that’s what makes the job so amazing.

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