According to Tulej, the challenge for retailers is to engage with consumers emotionally and keep them in store longer: “Digital retailers can completely redesign their space very quickly and without constraints. It’s much more difficult for stores.
“In future, the more successful stores will touch all your senses and offer experiences – activities to immerse consumers in the lifestyle aspect of the brand. Nike training hubs, for example, do exercise classes in store. It’s about being savvy and experimental.”
Tulej notes that some online retailers are replicating the physical environment online to extend the customer experience: “You can see online retailers using virtual reality to give people the experience of walking through the shop.
“We use the term ‘phy-gital’ to describe the merging of the physical and digital. This blurring of the lines is one of the most important trends of recent years and is not going away. Physical space gives a test bed for new tech and apps. What’s more, brands are able to monitor behaviour.