1 November 2023

Retail Interior Design is Embracing its new Tech Future

How the best interior designers are promoting the space-age shop floor

Try saying ‘AR, IR, AI’ four times, as fast as you can. Ten years ago, we’d have all thought it was a Geordie tongue-twister, but lately these three phrases have become part of our everyday conversation. Now add ID to the mix, and you’ve got the blueprint for how retail interior design is embracing its new tech future.


Artificial intelligence (AI) has already landed a starring role behind the scenes as retailers seek insight into customer behaviour on the shop floor in a new cookieless retail world.


But it’s AI’s charismatic cousin, augmented reality (AR), that’s stealing the limelight in the world of retail interior design. And when you twin this baby up with personalised content, it becomes a game changer in improving customer experience. And customer experience is what it’s all about.


A NielsenIQ survey reported that more than half of shoppers want to use AR to investigate products, and that AR will convince them of the quality on offer. So, it’s no wonder that we’re interested in how the best interior designers are promoting the space-age shop floor with the following tech-savvy items.


Super Smart Mirrors & Interactive Fitting Rooms

What’s a smart mirror? Well, these futuristic looking glasses not only analyse which garments shoppers take inside the fitting rooms, but then gift these potential customers with personalised style recommendations according to their individual tastes. In other words, they’re digital personal shoppers who can’t sneak a disapproving look at your brand of footwear.

Smart mirrors can also be used throughout the store to offer virtual try-on experiences. These incredibly clever devices are so impressive that they recently convinced H&M to test them out in their US-based COS stores.


The Powershelf is here

No, not in-store gym equipment, but weight-sensitive mats which are placed on shelves. When a set number of products are removed from them, store employees immediately receive a message to warn them that stock levels are low. Powershelves can also be kitted out with digital price tags, allowing the retailer to quickly alter prices and discount stock at the touch of a button… or two.


Beacons and store layout

What are beacons, and what do they have to do with interior design? First up, beacons emit low-energy signals, and recognise when a mobile device is in their area. As soon as a beacon is triggered, it can alert retailers about a customer’s location. So apart from stalking, this is useful, why precisely?

Well, there are a number of important reasons, but perhaps this is the most intriguing: picture a customer browsing through clothes when they hear a ping on their mobile. They look and find that they’ve received a digital coupon for a dress they’re looking at. Then they spy a handy smart mirror nearby offering a virtual try-on experience. Ingenious!

But how does this fit into ID? Well, the designer can tailor store layout, including the positioning of smart mirrors and fitting rooms to get maximum efficiency out of these handy devices.


How to design a tech-enhanced retail space

Much of retail interior design success lies in ensuring that enough power and data supplies are fitted in the right areas before any other work begins. So, the interior designer must be involved in the technical drawings and layout so they can input their invaluable advice on the optimum placement of dividers, wall screens and smart mirrors, as well as that all important feature-lighting.

If these tech aspects of retail ID are taken care of, then this will free up customer-friendly staff time to enhance the instore experience even further. And nobody’s ever complained about that.


Are you a designer with the kind of original ideas that’ll improve retail interiors in a tech-heavy world? Then our brilliant mustard ID team has head-turning job opportunities for the most forward-thinking candidates. So, why not give us a call! Our telephone hotline is 0117 929 6060.

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