The biggest challenges in the retail sector are the search for omnichannel, the integration of technology and the design of attractive and adaptable physical spaces.

The retail sector is undergoing a new transformation driven by advances in technology, digitization and changes in consumer habits. With the arrival of the coronavirus, these advances have accelerated and today they are essential to know consumers, generate attractive shopping experiences and provoke sales at the physical point and / or online.

The online presence of the brand through web pages and / or social networks is one of the most promoted and widespread trends in recent years, but it is not everything. The strategy in the design of physical spaces is key to generating a complete shopping experience. We review the 3 trends to adopt for a successful retail:

The path to omnichannel

Today’s consumer is online and offline at will: he wants and uses one or the other sales channel at times. Sales channels are being diluted and retailers must be able to respond to consumer needs at all times.

For years, the big fashion chains have made titanic efforts to pivot towards this omnichannel approach. At the beginning of summer, Inditex was investing 2.7 billion euros to double its weight in the online channel and fully integrate its sales channels. In addition, it announced the implementation of the Rfid system that allows full integration of the inventory in the store and online.

To be successful, online and offline channels must continually nurture, respond to the same strategy and act as one.

The integration of technology and use of data

With data technology and through a powerful CRM we can understand customer behavior and encourage sales. The pandemic has demonstrated the explosive growth of electronic commerce and ‘click and collect’ but there are also new applications and technologies that generate differentiation in the shopping experience.

Levi’s has developed a bot that launches recommendations for clothing pieces that are adjusted to the customer’s needs in a fast and agile way. Starbucks has also bet that Artificial Intelligence frees time for its employees in routine tasks so that they can dedicate time to serving the customer and favoring engagement with the brand.

Another example of the possibilities of technology is in the design and creation of clothes customization at firms such as Dior, New Balance or Nike. This customization service is also integrated by the new Gap Flagship Store in Barcelona, ​​a project where GrupIdea has worked on the design and construction.

The importance of space design

Buying in the physical store continues to generate value for the consumer. According to the State of Brick & Mortar Retail Report study by ServiceChannel, a facility management platform in the United States, 84% of offline shoppers say that the physical environment is very important in their purchase process. According to research, when retailers generate better in-store shopping experiences, consumers spend more time at the physical point, make more impulse purchases, return more often and think positive about the brand.

At this point, the design of the physical space is as important as the online design. Retailers must imagine their stores as a great showcase: attractive and adaptable sales spaces where they can launch actions in situ and in coherence with their strategy for online and offline channels. At the point of sale, technology solutions enrich the shopping experience and can reinforce brand identity.

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