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Differentiating the In-store Experience

Director of Brand Marketing
FRCH Nelson

October 31, 2019

Designing the physical store has changed significantly over the years. Retailers not only need to create a differentiated experience to stand out in a saturated market but one that provides seamless engagement for today’s time-strapped shoppers.

FRCH NELSON shares key trends to keep in mind when creating a differentiated and meaningful retail experience:

1. Brand-Infused Localisation

The trend of localisation in-store is a great way for retailers to better connect with a specific region, offering unique experiences and partnerships that create a sense of place and cultural appreciation, leaving shoppers coming back for more. Whether it’s environmental graphics, localised product, or community-driven partnerships, celebrating local can create a more authentic and meaningful connection for consumers.

The most successful retailers are those that can infuse their brand into that localised message, showcasing brand values and personality while seamlessly demonstrating a genuine connection to the local community.

2. Role of the Store

Today’s consumers expect a custom experience from retailers – stores can no longer offer everything to everyone in a generic fashion. From click-and-collect offerings to in-store inspiration, it’s important for retailers to be aware of the role their store plays to better cater to their unique shoppers. 

From the aimless wanderer to a man with a plan, retailers must identify their unique shopper personas and create customer journeys that are intuitive to the consumer’s needs and wants.

3. Programming Enhanced Product

For decades, retailers focused solely on monetising their product. Today, retailers are engaging consumers through unique services, meaningful programming and entertaining events to differentiate themselves in a saturated market.

The ability to connect like-minded people to inspire, educate or entertain is a powerful service to offer. Think of consumers as members, elevate the experience to better anticipate their needs, before they even ask. A strong gauge of successful programming is how quickly guests speak to one another. Retailers can’t create a true community if there is no engagement. Programming can create a feeling of intimacy and personalised interest. Provide opportunities for shoppers to start a dialogue.

4. Blurred Lines

As retail continues to rapidly transform, innovators are looking beyond their immediate industry, to environments and concepts inspiring the retail of tomorrow. Today’s consumers engage with brands in a fluid manner. The traditional sectors of the retail, restaurant, hospitality, workplace and entertainment have blurred as the consumer-desired experience has become a mosaic of expectations, influenced heavily by engagement, access and authenticity.

Embracing these new expectations presents retailers with a greater opportunity to differentiate, cross-sell and expand the breadth of their brand experience.

5. In-Store Micro-Experiences

Retailers need to identify opportunities to differentiate their in-store experience, leveraging distinct and engaging offerings that cannot be replicated online.

Small, but mighty, an in-store micro-experience can make a major impact on consumer engagement. A chance for shoppers to drive their own experience, get hands-on and create a custom product that leaves a lasting impression.


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