Digital screens to identify the consumer, androids that will attend to the customers, … that will be the reality defining the future of Retail interior design.

The digital transformation is here, it has been deployed in our daily lives. Its presence has extended, and covers all sectors, particularly in Retail, and, more specifically, in interior design. A sector that is immersed in constant evolution, advancing through an unprecedented way, in which the customer is at the heart of the strategy. A super informed and hyperconnected customer, who seeks to live a unique, full and personal shopping experience.

For this premise to be a reality, Retail interior design should also evolve and follow the trail technology leaves in its wake. A key piece and an ally which will allow it to stand at the level of the consumer’s mentality.

In the not too distant future, everything will change. The store will become a hotspot, the barriers between the online and offline world will be just a memory of the past. The much talked-of omni-channeling, assumed as one of the prevailing trends in the Retail sector, will continue growing strong on business strategies. From the time one enters until one leaves the store, technology will be there. A sample of this influence that modifies the path Retail interior design will follow, has been the semi-automated, cash register-free Amazon Go store; however, and only as a small digression, we should emphasize that this smart supermarket seems to have not developed traction.

The future stores

On the other hand, we must recognize that screens are gaining ground and will become essential in Retail. They will include many features to add value to the purchase process, for example, they will be able to identify the customer to provide him with personalized advertising, according to his interests. We should not forget smart fitting rooms, which are already a reality. By the way, Zara has already opted for them, and Mango recently incorporated this modality.

They feature a mirror that detects the garments that have been brought into the fitting room and displays them in the mirror, which is transformed into a touch screen. In this way, customers may request a different size, the store assistants receive the request in their device, and bring it to the fitting room. In addition, payment from the fitting room is possible, sparing the company’s need to request the customer’s information or the need to checkout. Everything is designed to meet the needs of a customer who places the bar ever higher and is no longer satisfied with ordinary things. Screen are also used to enhance the visual experience. By using moving or interactive images, they contribute to the creation of memorable physical spaces, and allow customers to connect with the brand through emotional bonds.

In this digital context, in which everything changes and nothing remains, the role of the people will be limited, focusing on more advanced operations. Robots will be in charge of customer service and may interact with customers. Although this trend belongs to a future that is yet to come, Korea and Japan have experience in this regard. In fact, the first store staffed exclusively by androids opened in Japan a couple of years ago, and androids are also available for sale as domestic helpers. The trend is toward a way in which humans and machines will share the same world, developing partnerships.

Digital transformation is unstoppable. Retail interior design should get on the innovation train if it wants to share the fast, changing pace set by technology. To do this, it will have to put itself in the shoes of a consumer who is not as he used to be. A consumer who wants to maintain a relationship on equal terms with brands, and who wishes to experience at first hand a customized purchase process. Only in this way may Retail interior design play a part in this new order.