In a stressed market, where every penny spent on design and development is under scrutiny, it is important to understand the impact and benefits of design at every level of investment. Maximising efficiency in austere times has become a fairly standard requirement of any design brief and never more so than now.
Quick, effective tricks that deliver great responses from your customers are well documented. For example, there are very few volume retailers that don't acknowledge the importance of a 'third window', an introductory offer at a store entrance that creates and supports best sellers in their range. If a concept can deliver this in a full-spent application it is one element that can be rolled out in isolation across a chain, cheaply and to great effect.
There are still a few traders who have not yet latched onto the concept of 'see it, buy it' – the idea that shoppers need to be physically shown what to buy, what's hot, what's on trend. Cheap to achieve, effective in the extreme.
Right now, technology is impacting the market. Digital signage is proving its value in mass retail, as print can be so slow and static. Presenting flat printed messages in store might work, but the flexibility and efficiency of a constantly updatable digital message can pay for itself in no time. Perhaps not such a low investment, but cheaper than ever before and certainly high impact.
There appears to be a clear divide between retailers who are investing in their future and those who are standing still, with many brands failing to connect or inspire their customers. Progressive businesses that push themselves further in these turbulent times can steal a march on their competition. Rather than sit on your hands and wait for the market to turn in your favour, now is the time to capitalise on cheaper property, competitive build costs and a customer that is crying out for something new, fresh and uplifting. Now is the time to do something different, whatever your level of investment.