The future of the digital retail shopping experience and how retailers can better connect with customers on a more personal level were key topics presented this week in Las Vegas at GlobalShop, an annual trade show and conference dedicated to store design, visual merchandising and shopper marketing.
Retail design industry leaders from Starbucks, Walgreens, The Container Store and more presented the latest retail and consumer behavior trends in educational seminars, while on the show floor attendees could see some of the latest digital and visual retail merchandising trends. Christian Davies, executive creative director, Americas, for retail design firm Fitch, highlighted the importance of “the human factor” as the binding force between the physical and digital retail experiences for consumers. “Consumers value human interaction,” he said. “Those who build a trusted relationship with a brand or store and develop an emotional connection with it are far more apt to purchase there.” Bruce Barteldt, from National Studio Principal, Retail, for Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, supported Davies’s sentiments as he emphasized how while high-tech concepts such as gaming entertainment, 3D printing and facial and behavioral pattern recognition aren’t yet a part of retail, they will be soon. It will be up to retailers to keep the experience personalized, he said.
“As retailers, our job is to re-humanize the retail experience in the virtual and physical realms,” Barteldt said. “Part of that might come with engaging customers’ senses to create an emotional connection with a brand.”
On the expo floor, attendees had the opportunity to see some of those trends and others first-hand from hundreds of the industry’s top suppliers. Ranging from augmented reality displays to responsive merchandising, the exhibition hall was full of innovations for visual merchandising in retail, shopper marketing trends and the newest products for store design. The show was divided into areas dedicated to digital, store design and operations, fixtures, visual merchandising and marketing.
“I’m seeing a lot of tech trends on display here at the show. Innovations that bring together the physical and digital experience and provide a more compelling but not overwhelming interaction for customers are what we’ll see more of in retail in the future,” said Russell Young, senior vice president of interactive and mobile experiences for digital retail firm Stratacache.
Sponsored by Association of Retail Environments (ARE), Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) and the World Alliance for Retail Excellence and Standards, GlobalShop runs through March 20 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.