When we think of workspaces, the immediate thing that comes to our minds is the picture of an office. However, work is not just about sitting in offices and taking managerial-level decisions. Work is also about meeting clients and customers. Therefore, workspaces are spaces where one meets customers too. That’s where the retail industry comes into the picture.
Workspace in the retail sector has undergone quite a shift in terms of design. This redesign, thanks to the pandemic, is a valuable case study in itself for understanding the transformation of workspaces in general.
In this blog, we look at the different things the retail brands – local or international – have been doing to ensure that not all is lost to the digital channel. Their applications to rejuvenating physical space are interesting to look at.
Here are the 5 things we noticed about the way the retail sector is redesigning its workspace to attract footfalls.
1. Experiential retail
Every visit by a customer is a precious one. From trial rooms to demo spaces, retail is doing it all. It is also ensuring that people know about the sanitation protocols in place. Fashion brands, for instance, sanitize the apparel in front of the customers before they try it out.
2. Appealing Entryways
The idea of a welcoming entryway is a pre-pandemic one. The presence of hygiene and good security on a grand entryway is the norm rather than exception in the retail industry. It is a practice that continues to be followed.
3. Beautiful displays
For those not necessarily in front of the retail outlet, displays do the trick. It is a common practice to display books, apparel, and other items on the window glass displays. It is also a good space to announce any offers available.
4. Positive associations
A lot of buyers’ goodwill is earned on the basis of making changes in the attitude of the sales or attendant staff as they address the customers. If the customers feel welcomed, get happy surprises, and are delighted by the product and/or service, they are sure to come back.
5. Incorporation of Technology
Technology is playing a greater role in physical retail today. From contactless payment options to contactless demos or trials like trying out haircuts and apparel on a screen rather than physically providing a near-accurate feel for what the actual product will feel like. And people leave assured that they were safe all the while by avoiding unnecessary physical contact.
6. Saving time
Customers do not have to stand unnecessarily in long queues to try out something or pay for it. The arrangement of space in a manner that lets them check out faster and even find what they want quickly matters a lot.
Designing clearly marked zones so that people don’t have to go round and round looking for things has turned out to be quite rewarding. Earlier, the goal used to be to keep people in the store – now that has turned into helping them leave faster.
Having good amenities like a queue manager or allotting different zones to different types of products for different audiences is also turning out to be a game-changer. Instead of putting everything together for everyone, it makes sense to have one section for kids, one for women and so on.
8. Going Local
A clear winner and inspiration in the context of the redesign have been the need for quick accessibility. In this sense, the closer you are to the customer, the better it is. Businesses are proudly declaring themselves to be local and are freely asking for customers’ patronage and the latter are glad to oblige. So how close you are and how well you connect with the people who live or work in that locality matter a lot in attracting footfalls to the store.
Retail space is a very atypical workspace but it is a fascinating area. This space where customers are directly met and interacted with has faced a lot of consequences of physical distancing and lockdowns. Futuristic retail spaces and those trying their best to survive have managed to battle several hurdles and proved to be an example for other kinds of workspaces like offices.
What are your thoughts on the changes made to workspaces such as the retail sector?