When you think of creating the right atmosphere for a retail environment, do you think about the importance of the right floor?
Flooring is one of the largest continuously visible surfaces in any retail store, and it can convey a lot about the brand, the merchandise and the overall shopping experience. Light colors as the background for your merchandise enhances what you’re selling. Cushioned carpet makes shoppers more comfortable, enticing them to stay longer (and out of your competitors’ stores). As for hard surface, it’s a great idea in heavily trafficked areas. Hardwood creates a residential feel, encouraging shoppers to connect your product with their home. And, when you want to scream high end, consider luxurious woven carpeting.
I’ve spent most of my career in the retail segment. I’ve seen this segment evolve from brick-and-mortar stores and direct mail catalogs to today’s heavy mix of e-commerce. Through all of it though, there has been one constant…the consumer. Understanding the consumer and making sure to meet their desires is what makes a good retailer. The good news is, that for the most part, consumers will fit into two predictable buckets – the buyer and the shopper.
The buyer is extremely focused on a specific shopping goal and will only go to the store they have to – where they buy quickly and then escape. Look for this consumer in the self-checkout line, or worst case the express lane, and never expect them to buy any of the brightly-colored impulse items – they aren’t on their list. This buyer is today’s online shopper and is delighted when items are waiting on the doorstep when he or she gets home. This is also the buyer that has sent the retail world scrambling, and candidly, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see them again.
Now the shopper is an entirely different consumer. We love the shopper! The shopper truly enjoys the experience of shopping – not just buying. He or she strolls casually through stores, stopping to touch and try on different products. They really are just looking and aren’t using the phrase as a way to get away from the associates. This person certainly is not in a rush. It is this consumer that retailers need to embrace and cater to, as they will be the one who helps stop the current market skid.
Importance of the Customer Experience
Now more than ever, it is truly about the entire retail experience. Design a retail environment that is visually striking to lure them in, extra comfortable so they want to stay, and memorable so they will come back again and again. Play great music that fits the demographic of your target customer. Experiment with scents to make shoppers feel comfortable and relaxed. Create visually stunning spaces with clever merchandising – and, of course, have awesome floors.
With all of this in mind, our team at Mohawk Group is taking into consideration every aspect of the evolution of the retail market in order to offer a breadth of products that can help you create an amazing customer experience. In turn, you will attract and retain the shopper – that may have become more difficult to win over – but that is still there.
We’re here to help you with today’s retail environments. Reach out to your local Mohawk Group Account Executive, or click here to learn from our product team about how we develop better products to address challenges and opportunities in retail spaces, from large department stores to small boutiques.
Mark Oliver, Vice President of Workplace and Retail Segments
Using his expertise in identifying product portfolio gaps and finding creative solutions for growth, Mark works with various teams at Mohawk to better understand and react to shifting trends in workplace and retail. Since joining Mohawk in 2010, he has managed the carpet tile, woven and aviation businesses for the world’s largest flooring manufacturer, launching some of the latest innovations and solutions in those businesses. Mark previously held positions in product development and product management at Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach, Reebok and The Home Depot. Whether helping to introduce handbags, hardware or flooring, Mark has worked to bring innovative products to market that have shifted brands’ customer perception and become a foundation, and even a springboard, for growth.