Serif in Education

Grabbing shoppers’ attention! Using design to get sales, both in retail and online

With our increasingly busy lives, and the convenience of online shopping, it seems almost impossible that just 20 years ago the likes of Amazon™ and Ebay™ were just a fantasy. Impossible, that from the comfort of our own home, we would be able to order almost any product on next day delivery, direct to our front door. What would seem absolutely ludicrous is that you would be able to choose your specific delivery time (next day AM), specify a different address (deliver to your place of work), or even download a map which indicates exactly the point at which your delivery driver is on his delivery round, giving you real time delivery timescales and updates on your purchase!

Most people seem to enjoy conventional shopping (in our minds the in-store browsing experience). But nowadays, when it is so easy to compare prices online, grab a quick bargain, and order at the click of a button, it is tempting to instead load up your laptop (or turn on your smart phone) and embrace the online shopping experience.

Online retail records have already been broken five times in the UK over the 2013 festive season which was kick-started on Black Friday (29 November), and though Boxing Day has consistently been the biggest online shopping day of the year since 2008, even Christmas Day saw an increase of 6% to 114 million online visits to retail sites.*

Not surprisingly, retailers are having to resort to drastic measures to entice shoppers back in-store, and make their experience unique. Changing trends and changing consumer habits are leading to new in-store merchandising ideas being explored, and new ways for retailers to differentiate between their competitors.

The idea from one innovative retailer (JD Sports) that mannequins will “run” in their latest window displays, along with neon lighting, digital countdown clocks, and illuminated chevrons is set to make their new campaign an exciting prospect for shoppers and an interesting browsing experience.

Using clever visual effects to not only promote a product but also to tell a story and take you on a journey seems to be a retail trend for 2014, and one that JD Sports seems to have embraced with open arms. And with smartphones and the rise of new forms of technology in everyday life, people are using their phones and tablets not only to order online, but also to find out more about the things they are interested in (browse), share quirky or interesting campaigns on social media and bring unusual campaigns to life.

Looking back two years to 2012, there was a 9% increase in conversion rates from mobile optimised emails, and Facebook was responsible for driving 4% of all visits to retail websites.**

So, it seems you cannot stop consumers buying online, but it appears that it is not only the element of in-store purchasing decisions that a consumer makes, but linking this back to online activity that makes a campaign truly successful.  When creating these campaigns, it is necessary for the retailer to employ a host of different design tools to bring the idea from conception to reality.

You can bring this idea into the classroom with the Instant 3D tool in DrawPlus X6, where students can apply lighting effects to recreate point of sale or in store merchandising displays, like scaled floor layouts. Students can then transfer those concepts to WebPlus X7 and create online website or email campaigns to run alongside those in-store. They can also use these tools to create media for social media campaigns or other forms of marketing materials used on the same project.