THE GENSLER
EXPERIENCE
INDEX: RETAIL

Design is the “X factor” that engages people and keeps them coming back.

By SHARON LESSARD

CONVERGENCE

THE GENSLER
EXPERIENCE
INDEX: RETAIL

Design is the “X factor” that engages people and keeps them coming back.

By SHARON LESSARD

Taobao Choice Store — Hangzhou, China

 

To understand the characteristics that make great experiences, Gensler developed the Experience IndexSM (EXI) using ethnographic studies and quantitative research, including a survey of 4,000 US respondents. Following the launch of the EXI, researchers gathered insights about how design impacts the retail sector in the Experience IndexSM: Retail report. Perhaps the biggest overall finding in all our experience research is that design is a key differentiator between a good experience and a great one. Design is the “X factor” that engages people’s emotions and keeps them coming back to a place.

The best brands and stores design for a complete experience. The best experiences are ones that don’t differentiate between the qualities of physical space and issues of service, technology, brand, product, or social media.

They understand their customers’ in-store purpose. Successful brands recognize consumers’ core intentions for visiting a store — whether they are there to get something done, to connect, or to have fun — and then they build on that knowledge to deliver something great.

Successful retail brands meet and exceed customer expectations. Retailers should anticipate consumers’ needs at every touchpoint, from the website to the store, with memorable, delightful moments that break customers out of the everyday.


EXPERIENCE AT ANY AGE

Shifts toward more nuanced forms of customer profiling and engagement, and exploring new ways to save customers’ time and effort, can improve experiences for everyone.


THE IMPACT A STORE MAKES

Customers read a lot into how a store is designed, and how that design relates to the value proposition of the products being sold.

Design improves perceived product quality. Ratings of product display (below) by users who see products as high quality vs. those who see products as poor quality.


EVERY MOVE COUNTS

Customers expect stores to be employing/embedding the latest technology, and for in-store content to be managed at the pace of change they see in the world.

Technology forms a strong impression. Percent of respondents (below) who rated a store as having the latest technology who had a great experience.

To find out more, download the Experience Index: Retail report.


Sharon Lessard is a Retail Leader based in Gensler's Atlanta office.