When opening or renovating commercial premises, the design of the interior space is as important as the previous strategy we work on to develop the business. Whether it is a shop, a showroom, a gym or a restaurant, our commercial premises is the physical representation of our brand and one of the most important spaces for attracting and selling to our customers.
How do we want to be perceived, how do we make our brand’s visual identity present in the space? And just as important: How do we provoke sales in the physical space and design attractive and comfortable spaces at the same time? In this publication, we take a closer look at the discipline of space design and review the stages of strategy and design for an attractive and successful retail space.
The importance of strategy prior to retail interior design
Before taking the first steps in the interior design of the premises, it is very important to plan the strategy that we will follow, always adapted to our own business in order to make an impact and generate a unique experience for the consumer or user. First and foremost, in the strategy stage we must ask questions: Do we know our target audience well? How do we want to impact them in the physical space? Is visual merchandising important for the brand in order to break with homogeneity or hold special promotions? Will we use static or mobile furniture to host our product?
The strategic definition consists precisely in asking all these questions, studying and analysing the brand’s business model and then drawing up a unique value proposition for the customer. Then, before setting the layout, the distribution plant, we define the customer journey. It is about knowing how we want to serve the customer, how we design their brand experience, and making the layout adapt to this user experience and not the other way around.
The conceptual design of the premises and the distribution of spaces
To continue with the creation of the concept, we prepare the design moodboard, with the presentation of reference images, materials, colours or textures. We also include decorative elements, vegetation, vinyls and furniture inspiration if desired. In other words, we gather everything we want to relate our brand to. With the moodboard, we will be able to visualise the ‘Look and Feel’, the desired atmosphere or ambience for the venue.
After preparing the moodboard, we define the layout or distribution of spaces in the different areas, taking into account aspects such as the customer journey and the brand experience. The welcome area, for example, is very important for the customer. The brand experience must accompany the user from the moment he/she enters the commercial premises until he/she leaves the space, finally inviting him/her to repeat the experience and/or recommend it. The retail outlet is not only looking for sales, but also for customer loyalty. Many brands have already understood that the customer journey begins in the online sphere, before, during and after the consumer visits the shop in person.
The choice of furniture and other key aspects for the success of the project
Once we have conceptualised the commercial space, the design must be implemented in real premises. A shop located on the ground floor of a building is not the same as a shop located in a shopping centre, nor are the regulations to be complied with. For this reason, it is important to have a feasibility report carried out by technicians and experts who visit the premises before the signing of the contract to advise on the different technical aspects and the necessary building permits. At the same time, it is important to ensure that any good interior design is accompanied by a technical team that develops the architectural and engineering project of the project and the final construction by a team in charge of the construction management. The quality of the construction and the construction details is also very important for the client to feel the effort and dedication of the brand for their enjoyment.
On the other hand, in addition to the choice of materials, finishes and lighting, the choice or design of furniture is particularly important. Once again, it is necessary to put the consumer at the centre of the strategy without forgetting the prominence of the product in the space. Depending on the business model or the type of retail space, we will decide whether the product will be hung, folded or packaged, whether to use fixtures and fittings that will improve the display of the products or whether to prioritise accessibility for the consumer. The fixtures can be standard, custom-made or existing fixtures can be adapted or customised, depending on the quantity to be produced or the level of exclusivity sought. The furniture, as well as the accessories, can be the protagonist of the space or go completely unnoticed. From this point, we can later define the “style of the commercial space”, with all the details of equipment, furniture, lighting or visuals, and the use and adaptability of merchandising will also condition the choice of furniture and its distribution.
As we can see, there are many key aspects that condition the design of a commercial space. As designers, at Grup Idea we work on the strategy and design of spaces hand in hand with the retailer, since the concept of design, as we have seen, is necessarily linked to the concept of business. We comply with the functionality, creativity and technique that each project requires. We are experts in the design and implementation and construction of commercial premises. We conceptualise, develop, and implement all types of designs, from commercial premises and shops, hotels and restaurants to clinics and healthcare centres. If you have a project in mind, let us advise you and contact us for a no obligation quote.