Technology evolves at the speed of light, forcing all sectors to be in a constant process of change, development and innovation.

When it seemed that omnichannel strategies were leading retail to bring together the best of the online world and the physical store, a new concept arrived from China that plans a new scenario: the new retail design.



What is new retail design?

In recent years, omnichannel has become an imperative strategy for the retail sector that aspires to maintain its competitiveness and adapt to changes and new consumer habits in society.

Today, when buying we have two paths: the physical, going to the store; or online, buying through an ecommerce … In this context, omnichannel offers us the best of both realities, ensuring that a brand is present in different channels. However, from China we see that they ensure omnichannel is becoming obsolete and the winds of change are approaching.

A new style of consumption, especially among digital natives, put on the table the need to transform physical stores to provide them with a digital component so present in our consumption habits. And China, as a good superpower, has once again demonstrated its leadership by putting a new purchase option on the table: new retail design.


The new retail concept refers to combining the in-store experience with the virtual experience. In this way, the customers, physically present at the establishment, can also live a unique shopping experience using their mobile phone. 


A new retail strategy implements the use of mobile technology in the store throughout the purchase process. From when the consumer selects the product until he pays for it before leaving the establishment. In other words, the new retail manages to coordinate and integrate the digital and physical offer within the establishment itself.



The new retail design concept refers to combining the in-store experience with the virtual experience




China has for years proven itself to be a superpower in multiple sectors. The Asian giant knows how to quickly detect new buying habits and respond to them by developing new sales strategies. This has happened with new retail, a concept that arises in the country due to the demand of people who want to live much faster and more productive shopping experiences.

And so the new retail was born. A new shopping concept coined by Alibaba Group, the e-commerce giant, and which Hema has applied in its supermarkets.

In the stores of this brand, through the supermarket application, customers can, for example, scan a product to obtain more information and, if they wish, add it to their online shopping cart. It is even possible to speed up the purchase process, facilitating payment with your mobile instead of through the cash register or making a digital purchase from the store with same-day shipping home.

In the case of Hema, in addition, the application collects the data during the purchase process. In this way, a much richer experience is achieved and the brand also has the opportunity to offer new suggestions on the customer’s next visit to the supermarket.



7 keys to implement a new retail design strategy

Now that you know what new retail design is, it’s time to implement it in your business. For this reason, from CAAD, as experts in retail design, we have detected 7 key aspects to revolutionize your business through a new retail design strategy.


The moment of purchase is the essence of the experience

Although it sounds basic and redundant … the most important moment in the buying process is the act of buying itself. Therefore, to achieve a memorable physical experience in the store, you have to create a different space where each action has its place and get rid of unnecessary materials. In Amsterdam, for example, the Precinct 5 store opts for a more spacious facility for the physical experience, with the stock stored in a structure suspended from the ceiling and that can be controlled with pulleys.


© Copyright. Retail Design Blog


Flexible and adaptable spaces

We are living in moments of uncertainty due to the global pandemic and something that the coronavirus has taught us at a commercial level is the need to create flexible spaces that easily adapt to new habits. Rather than ensuring that flexibility is integrated into the design of the physical establishment, it is necessary to make this space adaptable and flexible to have different options for use.


Strengthen brand identity

In new retail, stores are much more than a physical space where you can carry out a mere transaction: money in exchange for a product. The stores that make up the new retail look for experimental purchases, commercial spaces that have a unique meaning for the customer.



In new retail design, stores are much more than a physical space where you can carry out a mere transaction: money in exchange for a product


A design in search of democratization

This new concept in the retail world advocates not only transforming spaces, but also the treatment we offer to the consumer. For this reason, we speak of democratization by ensuring that the relationship and interaction between workers and clients is horizontal. How to get it? For example, changing the service desk or the common cash register for a round or square one, which will facilitate a more personal contact between both agents.


Thinking about the environmental impact

Heating and lighting in stores are the main protagonists of the environmental impact of this type of establishment. Therefore, when designing a store focused on new retail, the choice of sustainable materials must also be taken into account. If, for example, we use easy to assemble and disassemble materials, we can always give them a second life elsewhere.


Augmented reality

In this new phase of transformation of the retail sector we have different technological tools. For example, the world of beauty has already started using mobile apps to try on cosmetics.

In the case of fashion, smart fitting rooms use augmented reality and allow us to see how a product would look, in addition to knowing the stock, available models or making recommendations, etc.


Data analysis

As technology is an essential pillar to create a memorable physical shopping experience, it is also a tool that can constantly help us to continue improving and making this shopping experience more attractive.

In this sense, the retail intelligence tools for in-store data analysis will allow predicting user behavior to prepare and adapt the physical space to their demands and needs.




New retail offers us infinite possibilities, allowing us to erase the boundary between e-commerce and the physical store. This also helps us reimagine the shopping experience, attracting more consumers to physical spaces and, perhaps in this way, making traditional retail stores survive digitization as a fundamental part of it.



Follow us in Twitter and Linkedin, sign up to our newsletter and you will keep up to date with trends and issues related to retail.