No matter how well you plan for the launch of a new store or retail space, unpredictable outside forces such as the economy, current trends and even celebrity endorsements can quickly make the next big thing yesterday’s news.
A winning combination of prime location and effective design—both inside and outside the store—is only the first hurdle to bringing in customers. The shoppers of today expect a certain standard of experience, and this includes facilities and technology.
However, a modern retail space can only take advantage of now-commonplace features such as card payments and free WiFi if it has the appropriate power supply in place. Innovative layouts can require versatile and flexible power access, which is where underfloor busbars can be invaluable.
By creating a network of power distribution points throughout the space, there’s no limit to where a retailer can position its lights, displays, cashpoints and even music systems.
Meeting consumer demands
Many retailers are starting to offer their customers free wireless mobile phone charging facilities. Usually a small pad or specially equipped surface, on-site wireless chargers remove the hassle of tangled wires and the stress of finding an available plug socket.
McDonald’s introduced this technology to 50 of their UK restaurants back in 2015. Starbucks followed soon after, having already provided free WiFi as a way of enticing customers and encouraging them to stay for longer.
Research by manufacturers of ergonomics, power solutions and cable management systems CMD found that almost a fifth of mobile phone users feel distracted when they have a depleting battery but no access to a charger. By meeting that need, a brand or store could enhance its reputation and garner more loyalty from its customers.
Providing a seamless experience
This lends itself to another modern retail habit: mobile payments. Research suggests that offering innovative new services alongside traditional ones can positively influence consumers’ intentions to buy, while the added convenience of cashless and cardless transactions gives tech-savvy customers the ideal shopping scenario.
Providing flexible and accessible power access—perhaps through wireless charging units and smartphone payments—shows customers that the business has considered their needs. It might also persuade them to spend more time in-store and make additional purchases while there.
Competing with online retailers
Going head to head with e-commerce businesses means high-street brands must adapt their physical presence and learn to negotiate the new retail environment.
To do this, the in-store experience should be as convenient for customers as possible. Businesses can use interactive devices which allow shoppers to check stock availability or organise home delivery, for example—a tactic that department stores and large retailers such as IKEA are already deploying.
By factoring practical power access into the store design, retailers invite opportunities to use new technology to break down the barriers between online and offline shopping.
Simple ways to satisfy customer.
The customer experience doesn’t start and end at the point of sale. Power access not only aids basic functions such as lighting, but also allows businesses to put simple and inexpensive measures in place to make customers feel welcome: Music. Strategically-placed speakers which disperse appropriate music at a suitable volume are a great way to create a brand-friendly atmosphere and add to the store’s ‘personality’.
Temperature. Nobody likes to shop in a sweat. For clothing stores particularly, well-placed additional heaters during the winter or fans in the summer can enable customers to browse and try on products comfortably.
Accessible cash desks. Customers should always be able to identify where tills are located. This means putting them in places which are well-lit and have access to all the power sockets they need.