When talking to people about what we do I’m constantly asked about the so called ‘death of the high street’. Now while it’s true to say that times are tough and some retailers have been left with the only choice of closing their doors, there are many many more who are in fact thriving. Retail continues to go through a period of change, which in itself presents an abundance of opportunities, and the good retailers out there are evolving to survive and prosper.We’ve looked back at some of our recent campaigns and reviewed those that have delivered exceptional results to create a top 10 list of retail trends that are influencing shoppers to act….

1. Brands Get Hi-Tech
Innovative use of interactive displays and video screens are taking centre stage as retailers look to mirror their online experience in-store. Burberry and Harrods are leading the way, replacing traditional POS and layout with a more streamlined look using high tech formats and screens to engage and wow customers.

2. Artisan Approaches
Shopping for artisan goods is all the rage, but this approach isn’t just reserved for the small and niche. Mass market brands are getting ahead by creating a rustic and bespoke feel to their retail environments to connect with shoppers more intimately. The ‘one-off’ feel of independent retailers is emulated by using natural materials and more traditional looking retail displays.

3. Virtual Shopping Platforms
Virtual changing rooms, interactive sites and shopping bags are all part of the virtual experience. Enabling shopping on the go, easy information sourcing and comparison as well as the ability to ‘try-on’ even if you’ve not managed to make it to the changing rooms – all of which helps to ease shoppers to the checkout. This can be particularly effective with more complicated and infrequent purchases such as duvets and pillows.

4. Pop Up Shops
Whether used for a sample sale, private ‘VIP’ event or simply to raise awareness, the business of pop up shops is booming. They can help to reenergise a retailer, presenting a great opportunity to inject an element of fun, surprise and engagement. Best of all they can be used to ‘beta test’ a variety of new retail concepts at a lower cost before rolling out successful ones into permanent stores.

5. Get Personal
Opening your world to shoppers and giving them the tools to customise their mass-market purchase, making it their own, can inspire and take brand interaction to a whole new level. Whether it’s carving your name on your iPhone, creating your own Magnum lolly or even adding much-loved photos to furniture, retailers are demonstrating their creativity and encouraging customers to be part of their brand.

6. Give a reason to visit the high street
Retailers have to look beyond simply stocking shelves to drive footfall in today’s market. Those doing well are offering added extras such as in-store classes and treats, they are also maximising their offerings with opportunities for customers to touch, feel and trial freely. Expert staff provide the cherry on the cake, with unbeatable insight and knowledge to inform a purchase decision.

7. Engage the senses
An engaging retail environment isn’t just about ensuring visual appeal. It should stimulate other senses too to better attract and involve customers. Filling a store with the sound, smell, touch and/or taste of what’s on offer can really add value to a shopper’s experience.

8. Cost counts
Budget retailers and brands have done particularly well over the last few years and consumers remain cash conscious and keen for a bargain. While in-store shoppers are scouring their mobiles for the ‘best price’ and they will shop elsewhere given a reason. A ‘price match’ policy in-store as well as online can be a real dealmaker and will also instill loyalty.

9. Emotive advertising
John Lewis, VW and Sharps are just some of the brands tuning in to the benefits of story-telling advertising. If you connect with customers on an emotional level they are more likely to connect with your brand, driving loyalty, interaction and conversations.

10. Encourage online/offline interaction
Encouraging interaction with touch screens or using QR codes to link real and digital retail environments are helping retailers stay ahead. There’s no escaping that shoppers will scour the internet in store, they will compare products and prices so don’t create barriers. By providing easy access to valuable reviews, educational videos and social conversations you will stand a better chance of making a sale and giving an incentive for them to visit you where they can experience the product too.