Trends & Insights

Digital Experience in Retail: In-Store Experiences at its finest

The retail industry is in a time of change. Competition from online retail is growing steadily and consumers increasingly expect personalized and seamless shopping experiences. In this context, the Digital Experience is becoming increasingly important - even outside the Internet.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the retail industry in recent years. Lockdowns, restrictions and changing consumer behavior have led to a decline in brick-and-mortar retail. Online shopping, on the other hand, is booming. Consumers have become accustomed to the convenience of shopping from home and now expect similar experiences when shopping locally.

We distinguish between two types of digital experiences in physical retail:


Application-based Experience

This experience takes place in the background and should not be noticeable to customers in most cases. It is about the seamless linking of physical and digital touchpoints and the intuitive navigation of customers throughout the entire customer journey and interaction with the brand.


Emotional Experience

These experiences should be consciously perceived, stand out and anchor a positive brand experience during interaction. For example, through gamification, interactive, multi-sensory installations and unseen innovative applications, positive emotions should be evoked.


(Digital) Experiences over Products 


How can retail be made fit for the future?

Our tip: Design stores so that customers don’t just visit them to buy the company’s products, but so that they offer real added value:


  • Don’t just offer a sales area, but a place to linger
  • Surprise the customer sometimes
  • Appeal to different senses
  • Offer constant change and an immersive experience


The goal must be to create a space that customers love to visit and want to come back to.

So, to improve customers’ shopping experience, it is increasingly important to provide them with personalized and interactive experiences. To achieve this goal, digital technologies and content can be integrated into store design and the sales process – creating Digital Experiences in retail. For example, through digital touchpoints such as tablets, interactive displays, virtual fitting rooms, and augmented or virtual reality experiences.


The benefits of Digital Experience in retail


Implementing digital experience technologies in retail creates personalized and seamless experiences, increasing sales and customer satisfaction. Purchase decisions are shortened by providing relevant information and personalized recommendations, and customers are offered unique, interactive experiences that they just can’t find online. Among other things, this strengthens customer loyalty.


How to start: Our Designplus-recommendation


If you want to make customers aware that they can expect unique experiences before they enter the store, you should focus on the use of digital experience technologies in the shop window design at the beginning. Integrating augmented reality (AR) elements into window displays can create an interactive and engaging shopping experience that attracts the attention of passers-by. Products can be experienced virtually and the product range can be expanded in the shop windows without requiring more physical space. Customers can navigate virtually through an extended range of products and order them directly from the shop window. Retailers using these technologies can differentiate themselves from the competition and build an innovative and forward-thinking brand that can address the challenges of the industry and meet the needs and demands of today. Another advantage of AR applications is that there is no need to implement complex and expensive structural measures – all that is needed is a well-designed window sticker with a QR code, everything else is software-based and can be easily adapted or updated.

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