Retailers are beginning to think differently in response to their audience’s changing desires for “healthier” shopping experiences. By evaluating traditional store design elements through the lens of wellness, brands have the opportunity to create environments that are more holistic, rather than simply physical, and inclusive of cognitive, emotional and spiritual health attributes.
In this report, we look to demystify what well-being means to consumers and the in-store design features that support a state of mindfulness and deliver a sense of value in retail today.
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CONSUMERS WANT AN EXPERIENCE THAT SUPPORTS THEIR WELL-BEING, NOT JUST A PRODUCT THAT DELIVERS WELLNESS
Consumers are more aware of their health and what contributes to their holistic well-being than ever before. This awareness, however, is not just limited to mental, emotional, and physical wellness, as it also accounts for our communal health and how we engage with wellness practices and experiences beyond our home. More and more, consumers are seeking out alternative care solutions and services. Many retailers have the ability and the real estate to test these alternatives as a way of not only contributing to their audience’s well-being, but as a way to drive greater traffic and loyalty. By offering spaces for a moment of calm or reflection, engaging water features or biophilia throughout or facilitating workshops to fuel connection, retailers and brands can go from experiential retail, to transformative retail.
For many consumers, retail therapy is transformative and delivers endorphins similar to exercise, resulting in a positive behavioral change in mindset. For many others however, the retail environment can prove taxing and stressful, allowing them to become overwhelmed and distracted from their original objective. By thinking intentionally and strategically, retailers can connect with consumers of all walks of life and deliver a comprehensive experience in-store that is good for both the body and the mind.
Since the pandemic, the desire to prioritize one’s health and holistic well-being has increased significantly. Consumers are now making lifestyle choices with wellness in mind, which has ignited a feeling of purpose and a new sense of motivation. As individuals navigate the endless sources of stress and anxiety they face both in life and work, it is only natural that they gravitate towards environments that ease these burdens rather than contributing to them. With so many retailers to choose from, consumers are feeling a pull towards those that recognize the hardship of mental clutter and are committed to alleviating some of that tension in authentic and meaningful ways. This can be achieved in a variety of ways in store, such as thoughtful lighting design integrations, biophilia focal walls, water features, calming music or meditative spaces, all of which give the consumer the opportunity to decompress. Through this, retailers and brands can demonstrate their commitment to their consumer’s priorities and values, resulting in repeat visitation and long term loyalty as consumers will find these brand experiences enjoyable and transformative. By investing in store design features with human centric needs at the heart, brands will see a return on their investment both financially and in their audience’s social capital.