retail design trends 2022

24 March 2022

Standing out in-store has never been more important for brands and retailers. As the pandemic has created a seismic shift in the way we shop, audience appeal is everything.

Which is where innovative retail design comes in. Giving shoppers an elevated experience and using clever creativity to transform a functional shopping trip into a memorable occasion. It’s an art form, working hand in hand with display to attract shoppers in-store and entice them into making a purchase.

There are a million things that can draw in an audience. But which are hot right now? Let’s dive straight in and discover the retail design trends for 2022…

Go for green

Increasingly, shoppers are choosing brands and retailers with environmentally friendly products and practices. They are more aware than ever of impact on the planet and will be quick to point out those who do it well… or not.

Brands need to focus on the ‘circular economy’, looking at using recycled or refurbished materials, and considering what happens to the product at the end of its life. Can it be recycled, reused, or repurposed? And retailers can often play a pivotal role here through partnerships and return/recycle schemes.

Think beyond an in-store recycle bin. Instead, it’s all about storytelling, weaving a narrative for shoppers using visual graphics and merchandise. This is a powerful way to demonstrate your sustainability credentials to shoppers.

And this awareness extends to your displays. Today’s savvy shopper knows an eco-conscious brand when they see one and will be more attracted to it. So going green with your point of sale and in-store retail display is good for the environment as well as good for business. 

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Take online offline

Once upon a time it was all about bricks-and-mortar stores and brands building up their ecommerce arm. Today we’ve gone pretty much full circle. Digitally native brands are now moving towards building an offline presence. Customers value an in-store experience, and online brands and retailers are realising and responding to this with activations such as pop-up shops or temporary stores.

This is a great way to generate a buzz about your brand, and you can share the experience online for the die-hard digital audience. The temporary nature of these pop-ups also means it’s an excellent way for online brands to experiment and establish whether having a more permanent physical presence would work for them. 

Find out more about why you should consider experiential marketing for your brand… Read our article 10 reasons why your brand should be using retailtainment and experiential marketing campaigns

Experience speaks

Retail is fiercely competitive. So how can you make sure customers are coming back time after time? The answer lies in the experience.

Shoppers no longer want to just pick up a product. They want an immersive, unique experience. And these are best — and most memorable — when they are personal, making customers feel like they’re being cared for and nurtured.

But it’s also about the practicalities. Many shoppers are still looking for safety measures in-store in the light of Covid-19, so pay close attention to cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitisation.

The rise of hybrid retail

The demand for frictionless retail and super-fast delivery is increasing all the time – accelerated by the pandemic. We mentioned earlier bringing online offline. And hybrid retail is another way of merging the two, finding a balance of online convenience and in-store interaction.

For example, shoppers who ordered a product online can almost immediately pick it up in-store. Conversely, shoppers who experienced the product in-store then go home and order it online. Or bringing your website in-store to give shoppers access to products that may not be carried by the physical retailer.

A word of caution, however. Omnichannel consistency is hugely important here. Shoppers need to feel they are experiencing the same brand online and in-store, with the two seamlessly interchangeable.

HFSS: new priorities

A new policy is being introduced in October 2022 that restricts the way in which products high in fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS) such as confectionery, crisps and pastries are sold and promoted to consumers.

The aim is to reduce overconsumption of HFSS products and encourage retailers to provide healthier alternatives in key selling locations. Which is likely to mean some changes soon in the grocery aisles, as brands find new ways to promote their HFSS products and stay compliant.

This could take the shape of increased point of sale such as shelf highlighters, wobblers, impactful graphics, digital signage, and interactive display.

Read more about what we think grocery will look like after HFSS in our article What will grocery retail look like when the high fat, sugar and salts legislation kicks in?

Think tech

Tech is a great way to entice shoppers in-store and encourage purchases once they’re there, as it can really enhance their shopping experience. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen the rise and rise of the touch-free QR code, which is now pretty much everywhere – on point of sale, product labels and promotional campaigns.

Technology also enhances in-store experiences, such as using virtual reality for shoppers to try a new colour lipstick, hairstyle, or pair of glasses. Plus, virtual fitting rooms are a big thing for 2022, so shoppers can try on garments without changing clothes. Essentially, anything to make the in-store experience easier, smoother, and more fun…

Social media is also still at the forefront, as people love to share their experiences online. So make sure your store is highly Instagrammable, with backdrops, graphics and props so shoppers can take the perfect picture.

Good retail design isn’t just a nice extra to have. It’s for every brand and every retailer to embed into their thinking. To work in perfect harmony with display and merchandising, to create stunning showstopping experiences and disruptions to keep shoppers intrigued, engaged and inspired to purchase.

Ready to speak to a retail design specialist about your next project?

We’re always happy to chat. Our retail design specialists are ready to help you create a retail display that’s on brand and on budget.

Want to see what we can do? Take a look at our portfolio

Please contact our sales team on 01530 839777 or email info@threepd.co.uk

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