What is your favourite example of digital and physical integration in retail design?

Waitrose is introducing conceirge desks in-store to support its digital retail offer. What is your favourite example of retail designs that bring the digital and the physical together?

David Dalziel

‘Whether it is wise to invest in expensive and fragile transactional terminals when the customer will soon be very happy shopping on the move on their own secure device is debatable. John Lewis in Exeter has succeeded in integrating terminals into a ‘showrooming’ approach to merchandising, but the most rewarding experiences are more often experiential, something that entertains and inspires customers. Niketown, Adidas and Burberry are all strong, but the really influential experiences are coming from immersive museum spaces like the Bowie exhibition at the V&A. Digital in retail has some catching up to do.’

David Dalziel, group creative director, Dalziel & Pow

Jon Lee

‘I don’t think there are any great examples of a seamless link between the physical and digital with retailers. There are certain retailers who innovate well but it’s not being used from a single customer perspective. Most digital innovation is for PR stunts. Fashion retailers are maybe the exception. Topshop’s link-up with Google + for London Fashion Week was excellent and Burberry are probably the only brand that are really pushing the single customer view. No one yet is really guiding new cross-channel journeys and managing close integration between product, place and people.’   

Jon Lee, creative director, 20.20

Rodney Fitch

‘The most reliable research I’ve seen suggests online revenues will peak at around 30 per cent of retail sales. The same research however claims that 80 per cent of all sales will be technology influenced. If this proves correct, then how technology in the round, not just online empowered, interacts, interplays, complements and enhances the physical shopping experience is paramount. My own favourite example of this is Uniqlo on 5th Avenue in New York. Big flagship installation, hugely impactful shopfront and a wonderful interior set the physical scene. But it’s the use of instore technology – informative, interactive, kinetic brand imagery and much more, that makes this environment immersive, creating a really contemporary shopping experience.’

Professor Rodney Fitch, retail design consultant

Gregor Jackson

‘A successful retail brand is one with its reality retail being a curated space, including events and collaborations, with an interwoven multi-channel reach. I would like to offer not one but two examples of this physical/digital integration. The Whisky Shop Piccadilly London is clearly a confident brand expression, yet with multi-branded, animated and stories amplified through digital tablets.  While at Alexander McQueen Dover Street London store, McQ’s interactive table acts as a playground, “painting” and global window into the brand.’

Gregor Jackson, partner, GP Studio

Alasdair Lennox

‘Digital in retail is currently turning the corner, away from gimmicky “digital tourism” to becoming the means to a true seamless retailing experience. Fitch is seeing and designing digital experiences for the three universal shopper mindstates: “Dreaming” experiences like the Burberry flagship on Regent Street, where the digital rainstorm tells a compelling brand story. “Exploring” experiences like LEGO augmented boxed toys, where “play” is key to purchase. And “Locating” purchases from online brands like Amazon dispatched to lockers at my local corner shop.’  

Alasdair Lennox, creative director for Europe and Russia, Fitch

Massimo Acanfora

‘We’re excited by online retailers moving onto the high street. Take jeweller Astley Clarke, which has recently opened concessions in Liberty and Selfridges, or Moo – an online business card printer that has just set up shop in Shoreditch’s Boxpark. For both jewellery and business cards, tactility is important. These retailers are dipping into bricks and mortar in a clever way that enhances their offer. Coming at it from the other end, we recently worked with M&S to bring technology into their Home department to great effect. There’s no one way to make the online-offline crossover work, and it’s good to see different models out there.’

Massimo Acanfora, creative director of brand and product team, Conran and Partners

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