Double Retail X
Future of Retail

Ollie Lewis

Business Development

If we are going to show the consumer why the high street and physical retail spaces are a key anchor to the retail experience, 2021 is the year. As a cohort we need to now put in the effort to ensure that physical retail post covid 19 is what the consumer has been demanding.

E-Commerce vs Physical Retail
Add image name here.

Brick and mortar retail has been under fire for the last decade with the uprising of E-commerce. It is easy to name brands that have thrived in the market, the likes of Amazon, eBay or ASOS. As we have been driven to use these services more and more over the pandemic, are consumers missing physical retail?

If we are going to show the consumer why the high street and physical retail spaces are a key anchor to the retail experience, 2021 is the year. As a cohort we need to now put in the effort to ensure that physical retail post covid 19 is what the consumer has been demanding.

Here at Double we want to show you what the future of retail is going to look like. Here are 5 key trends that we expect to see in 2021 and beyond…

‘Our original trends centred on the importance of sustainability, having an authentic purpose and the disruptive impact of digital. We believe these trends are just as relevant today and in many ways the global pandemic have emphasised their importance.’

Deloitte – Retail Trends 2020

Will absence make the heart grow fonder?

Shop Local

We have seen the rise of the local high street again, consumers finding the hidden gems of their community and giving them the opportunity to shine. The move to a large majority of our country’s work force making their homes their offices means that the major city centre shops are seeing less footfall.

We feel this trend is going to stick and has the opportunity to give local communities the product and services they desire. There are concepts out there from Nike that are showing that smaller local stores are more adaptable and can be merchandised to be more specific to the area. The customer centric motive will allow retailers to build communities around their store with an authentic feel.

Responsible

It’s increasingly obvious that sustainable design principles have been applied to the products and services of many major brands as consumer understanding and demand has increased, which is a great thing, and long may it continue.

Whilst brands have been quick to adopt a “greener” product line up, the same attention is yet to be brought to the retail environments in which they are sold. It’s important to take note of this because whilst the average customer won’t think twice about it, the regular updates and re-designs create a very significant pattern of waste.

Being able to talk about a more responsible approach to retailing will enhance the sustainable credentials of any brand and give far greater validity to a lot of the sustainability statements that form part of today’s marketing efforts

Service

The digital experience is anchored around user experience, the consumer at the centre of every decision made to create the best experience. This needs to be replicated in a physical form as we welcome back our consumer to retail spaces. As we see the transaction become less important in retail spaces, we need to produce the highest level of service to replicate that of the brand’s products.

We will be creating retail theatres. The consumers’ experience, and feeling towards a brand, needs to be created the moment they are in contact with the retail environment.

This level of service needs to be felt in every detail of the store design and positively affect both the employees and consumers of any given retailer. Service needs to be provided with emotional and physcial intelligence.

Phygital

The word may not flow off the tongue and cannot yet be found in the English dictionary, but the principle of combing the physical nature of a environment with the attraction of the digital world is going to flourish this year. Omnichannel and 360 retail are going to advance into a seamless world. The consumer can browse online, try on in store and then be delivered to their home, or order online, pick up in store and return via post. There is the possibility of a conversion on any channel.

What we are going to see is the use of digital technology within a physical store to strengthen the brand messaging in store.

And not digital gimic for gimic’s sake. Functional, experience-enhancing, consumer-conscious digital. Simple changes such as increases in contactless payment limits and multiple scan and go locations will make it more possible for consumers to buy what they want, how they want.

Pop Up

Let’s bring retail to the people. As consumers start to fill our streets, buildings and transport systems, the world is going to be a different place. The concept of a well-designed pop up is that it is fully adaptable and puts less long term pressure on the brands. Digital native brands are not going to be looking to sign long 5-10 year leases, they will want to be agile. Retail is going to be flexible and where you find physical retail is going to change.

Those transport hubs will be the perfect location to pick up your meal for that night. The small retail space at the bottom of your office is a great location for a seasonal brands to share a location. A staycation holiday rental is a relaxed and creative space to showcase lighting, homeware and outdoor living,

The concept of single location retail is no longer relevant. The shopping hubs of city centres and shopping malls have been dispersed and consumers will spend where and when they feel comfortable. Digital resources bring retail into peoples homes and we believe it is the role of brands and retailers to inspire in ever more far reaching locations.

What is Phygital?

Can I have some more?

Responsible Retail Spotlight: Energy & Processes

For every retail programme, we have to consider the environmental impact it has, including delivery from the factory to your store(s) or distribution center.

Materials matter... so what are the alternatives to MDF?

Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) is everywhere and because it's cheap, smooth, and relatively strong it's become the go-to sheet material for shop fixtures and furniture. Let’s take a look at 3 less harmful and more sustainable alternatives.