The future of retail is forever changed. Over the past year, we have witnessed so many changes in evolving technology, eCommerce booming, and the transformation of the in-person shopping experience. Even with all these adjustments, brick-and-mortar stores are not going away. Majority of consumers still prefer a live experience so they can see what they are buying before making their purchases. So now that the economy is opening back up and consumers feel more comfortable going out, how will the branded retail space adapt to design needs to create an amazing overall experience?

Here are the top five retail design trends to watch in 2021:

  1. Eye-Catching Environmental Graphics

Branded environmental graphics help make the retail experience more memorable, authentic, and meaningful. This helps with wayfinding and connecting consumers to a relatable brand. When designing a retail space, consider your target demographic to choose appealing, stand-out design elements. Reflecting your brand, place, and culture in your space is a creative and strategic way to draw people into your stores – and keep them coming back for more.

2.  Interactive Shopping

It’s not just about the experience of going to a retailer in person, but the entire experience consumers have while visiting. Retailers must cultivate an atmosphere of safety and comfort, while also providing an entertaining and enjoyable experience that attracts and appeals to consumers. And while physically holding or trying out certain items may be limited in some stores even post-pandemic, there can be creative, innovative designs that still encourage an interactive, memorable experience, like displays that showcase additional merchandise through tablets and more.

3. Technology Integration

Technology also continues to dominate the retail shopping experience by providing both convenience and entertainment. Technological enhancements in the retail experience through touchless technology and integrated social media strategies are popular ways to attract consumers in 2021. For example, Blue Nile’s new prototype rollout of 50 brick and mortar stores nationwide include a Magic Mirror, an interactive digital screen for customers to take selfies with the jewelry. These images can be branded and posted on social media to expand Blue Nile’s digital and social media footprint, completing the circle, so to speak, for a brand that was born and grew up on the web.

4. Minimalistic Merchandising

In the past, retailers often stocked displays and shelves with as much product as possible. Inventory can still have high visibility for promotional reasons – but one of 2021’s retail design trends is to create a more simplified, sophisticated shopping experience, which includes refinement in-store design and inventory display. This change in shopping experience can also mean that less inventory is displayed on purpose, which may be a better solution to maintain a cleaner space even post-pandemic.

5. Inviting Hospitality

Creating a comfortable, inviting, hospitality-driven atmosphere will ultimately attract consumers. Many retailers have incorporated design elements to reflect this, seeing the appeal among others doing the same in the retail and restaurant space. Designs using various seating arrangements, pops of warmer colors and lighting, lighter flooring selection, and natural light can make a space feel more open and welcoming.

Want more? Stay tuned each week for more insights!