Regular readers of Retail Focus will remember a recent article that focused on surfaces in retail and how shops and other venues can utilise these as part of their marketing strategy to help drive more sales.
However, the reality is that these surfaces can be used for much more than simply pointing customers in the direction of special offers or promoting seasonal sale events. Surfaces such as floor, wall, windows and even ceiling are something of a blank canvas for retailers to use to improve the overall customer experience with eye-catching décor.
Whether you are selling outdoor clothing and want to create the feeling that customers are walking through a forest while browsing for coats and gilets, or surrounding visitors with images of their favourite sports stars in a sportswear store; surfaces allow retailers to do so much more with their facilities.
Here, we speak with two leading providers of materials in the décor sector to find out more about how easy projects like this are to undertake and how retailers should think outside of the box to make the most of their blank surfaces.
Keeping consumers engaged
Drytac is a specialist provider of self-adhesive materials used in all manner of décor projects, including some within the retail space. Amanda Lowe, global marketing director at Drytac, said retail is forever changing and evolving and the pressure is on companies in the sector to stand out to the consumer – something that they can do by creating a unique space for their customers to enjoy.
“Customer in-store experience is key to bringing your consumers through the doors and keeping them engaged,” Lowe said. “With online retail stores changing how your customers are shopping, the pressure is on to create meaningful and lasting in-store shopping experiences.
“Through the use of window, wall, floor and outdoor branding, you can communicate with customers without even saying a word. Graphics can enhance your customer’s overall experience from communicating a promotion, showing how to style a product or even general directional signage to provide an easier experience.
“Drytac, with its adhesive science, has developed a portfolio of graphic solutions to brand all your surfaces. Our quality of material will provide peace of mind to support all your short-term and long-term campaigns with various levels of installation needs to save you time and money.”
As set out by Lowe, surfaces are plentiful in retail and cover everything from walls and floors to ceilings and even certain furniture. All of these surfaces can be covered in products such as those from Drytac to make a store, café or other environment more appealing to the consumer.
Lowe picks out walls as one of the main opportunities for retailers, saying: “Nothing can change the feel of a space like wallcoverings. Wallcoverings can customise your space to specifically match your brand and enhance your look with thick and durable films.
“Then there is the floor beneath them. Shoppers are always looking down at their phones while shopping; why not put something in their line of vision with floor graphics? Here at Drytac, we ensure our products have the proper slip ratings and certifications to keep you and your customers safe in public environments.”
With this, Lowe picks out some of the products it offers that are well suited to applications in the retail market. For wall graphics, these include WipeErase with ReTac Smooth 75, which allows users to create custom printed dry erase walls and decals to engage shoppers. Ideal for mid-term use, this product can be installed by any employee.
Also available is ChalkMate, with which retailers can create a custom printed chalkboard, as well as SpotOn White for the production of short-term wall murals.
For counter-tops, Lowe and Drytac recommend Polar Grip with Interlam Pro Emerytex – a non-stop countertop mat solution with an FDA rating – as well as ReTac Smooth 150 that can be easily repositioned, and Polar Dynamic Sand, an anti-scuff, textured white film for stickers and decals.
Looking at the floor beneath us, Drytac offers SpotOn SynTac with Interlam EcoTex, a PVC-free floor graphic media that is slip-rated with Interlam EcoTex. Also on offer is Polar PET 170, a slip-rated PVC-free floor graphic media that does not require a laminate, as well as Polar Street FX, another slip-rated PVC-free floor graphic media suitable for rough surfaces.
Another specialist supplier in this area is Soyang Europe, which offers both materials and hardware to the print market, including solutions for interior décor. Sales manager Oliver Mashiter said décor is important for retailers to capture customers attention and as such they should do what they can to make the inside of their stores attractive and welcoming for passers-by.
“To offer up an example, a well-designed window display could entice shoppers inside,” Mashiter said. “It could be the difference between a shopper entering or walking by. A well-designed décor could also mark out the customer pathway around the shop/store and also steer customer in the right direction.”
Mashiter went on to say that retailers are among the most blessed businesses when it comes to having blank surfaces to work with. Be this windows, walls, floors, ceiling, or any other surface type, he said all of these offer potential for decoration – which is often both easy and cost effective to produce.
“Blank surfaces offer the retail space to be unique and in keeping with the brand,” Mashiter said. “The use of wallcoverings and floor-graphics could be used to make a space bold and enticing. We have products like BILD (G-Floor) that is used as a long-term floor product in retail spaces that can be printed with any unique design as opposed to using tile or wood flooring.
Soyang Europe also offers many different wallcovering options including 5m wide seamless wallcovering and textiles for display and lightboxes. In addition, there is self-adhesive floor vinyl that was used a lot over the last few years for distance floor graphics, with Mashiter saying this idea could be used to promote products in store or as a temporary promotion of a product.
“Soyang has a wide range of materials that are used in retail spaces from window films for an eye-catching window display to many options for floor Graphics, and from self-adhesive floor vinyl to printable permanent/long term floor vinyl, and textiles for backlit, tension frame systems,” Mashiter said.
Hopefully, this will offer up some food for thought to those retailers seeking to attract more consumers to their store and improve the overall experience for those that to step through their doors. Interior décor on blank surfaces within a store is a cost-effective and impactful way of achieving this and ensuring your shop or other venue stands out from the rest on the high street.