The way consumers shop and purchase products has continued to evolve over the last few decades. With the rise of ecommerce and online shopping efficiencies, brick-and-mortar stores now have to put the consumer experience first. Retailers are working hard to keep up with this evolution and looking to new and exciting construction options to help.
Consumers are sharing more experiences on social media today than ever before. Everything from a mundane trip to the grocer or doctor, to a big night out at a five star restaurant. As a result of this trend, retailers are looking to create dedicated spaces for social media sharing within their store. Retailers may build a unique sitting area or include unique signage or wall construction, anything that may make for a share-worthy photo.
Many retailers are also relying on general contractors to build in wi-fi technology to improve the consumer experience in-store. Offering high speed internet in store allows consumers to browse products and price shop, search for coupons, and of course, share their shopping activity publicly via social media. Furthermore, many retailers want networking abilities so associates can carry tablets and mobile devices to help customers find items or check out with a non-stationary POS system.
Live, Work, Play
In recent years the big trend in retail has been building open-air, mixed-use developments that offer shopping and restaurants in addition to multi-family housing. These “lifestyle” retail centers also often include green spaces, benches and picnic tables, and connected pathways throughout. This trend will not only continue in. 2019, but will continue to evolve as retailers further embrace the open-air concept and integrate natural elements into their construction.
Most consumers are not fans of harsh fluorescent lights, little to no natural light, and tight and cluttered shopping aisles. For these reasons retailers are moving to incorporate a more natural vibe through the use of skylights, UV bulbs, and even plants and water elements in-store. This not only helps create a relaxing atmosphere, but can also provide another share-worthy photo opp in-store.
Another trend in retail construction is renovations – rather than seeking new construction, retailers are looking for older buildings that may or may not have been retail facilities originally. These buildings represent a great opportunity to modernize and streamline in an efficient and sustainable manner. The unique construction elements that old or even historic buildings have to offer can truly set retailers apart from the bare-bones, functional interiors of new construction.
Today’s consumers want a more engaging experience and that starts with the construction phase for retailers. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, new and exciting opportunities for retailers and general contractors will continue to grow.
If you’d like to learn more about our experience in the retail vertical or what we can do for your next project contact us today.