Retail rethink: design for customers

22.07.15

This week Sainsbury’s announced that it is planning to overhaul the design of its stores to suit its customers’ needs better. This initiative follows John Lewis’ new home store design concept at its flagship Oxford Street store, which aims to provide customers with a more inspiring shopping experience. These retailers are clearly prioritising putting customers at … Continued

This week Sainsbury’s announced that it is planning to overhaul the design of its stores to suit its customers’ needs better. This initiative follows John Lewis’ new home store design concept at its flagship Oxford Street store, which aims to provide customers with a more inspiring shopping experience.

Design for John Lewis’ new home department

These retailers are clearly prioritising putting customers at the heart of their retail strategy, especially when it comes to design. But in the increasingly omnichannel retail environment, understanding customer needs and behaviours is becoming more and more of a challenge. Shopper journeys are no longer linear – they chop and change channels at the blink of an eye: on their phone on during the daily commute, in store on their lunch break or at the weekend.

Ultimately customers don’t think in channels, they interact with brands in a way that works best for them at that moment in time. The aim for all retailers should be to prioritise design in such a way that customers enjoy a seamless brand experience no matter where they are in their journey. In doing so, retailers can build brand engagement and stand out from the crowd in an already busy marketplace. Nike is an example of a brand that does this to good effect – it has an identifiably Nike DNA running through all of its touchpoints.

Example of Nike’s strong visual branding

If you’re interested in retail strategy, get in touch to hear about our thinkpiece that looks at how best to design seamless retail brand experiences for the omnichannel customer.

Read more on the role of design in store experiences here:

Discounters count on design

Saving bricks and mortar: the role of good design