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Comment: Rob Goleniowski of Roland DG on in-store personalisation

It’ll come as no surprise that high street store sales have steadily fallen quarter-on-quarter for the third consecutive year. A number of influencing factors have played a part in the stagnation of the British high street, with the largest being the shift of sales from in-store to online shopping.

With advances in mobile shopping over the last few years making it easier than ever for shoppers to access, compare and purchase elsewhere whilst in-store, physical retailers face a growing challenge to maintain the attention of shoppers during their visit, let alone drive additional footfall.

The first challenge that retailers face is how to stand out in a busy high street, with an increasing need for stores to become more vibrant, dynamic and impactful. With dedicated teams of visual merchandisers creating impactful window displays, in-store promotions and P-O-P displays, consistent branding concepts can be found in most stores.

The pace of retail means that store requirements can change in an instant and, with the comprehensive branding requirements of modern stores, this can become both a challenging and expensive task when outsourced to suppliers. Instant or short notice turnarounds are either simply not possible or command inflated prices. By investing in machinery and technology that is able to produce high quality branding in-house - including signs, banners and wall graphics - retailers can stay at the forefront of new trends and one step ahead of their competitors, with the ability to produce new and exciting materials to match their brand standards as and when required.

With the correct technology and compatible materials, producing anything from personalised window displays to luxury details is simple and easy.

Textured effects are a popular trend in-store design this year. Geometric and honeycomb backdrops, complete with spot UV and embossing effects, add a glossy finish. Printable wallpapers – complete with self-adhesive application - are a quick way to give a window displays a facelift, and can be produced in-house. With advances in technologies that make ‘plug and play’ the new standard it’s easy for even those new to the market to become experts in a short space of time.

Arguably the toughest challenge comes after customers have stepped through the door, and retailers should explore new ways in which they can create experiences for shoppers that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

Focusing on emotive products or experiences is not a new concept. The personalisation trend has grown year on year over the last decade at an unprecedented rate, with recent research from Deloitte showing that 41% of consumers like to buy products that are unique. This emerging trend presents a lucrative opportunity to retailers across a diverse range of sectors, not least because research also reveals that half of all customers are willing to pay up to 30% more for a personalised product.

The difficulty for store-based retailers is that, until recently, personalised products have been viewed by consumers as being sourced from the internet - with popular online retailers thriving thanks to customisation offers.

Using Roland DG’s technology, retailers can offer customers the opportunity to personalise an item on the spot to produce an instant memento and bespoke product that has been designed to their exact specification – and can be taken home the same day. Not only does this service offer an emotive, unique experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere, the commercial benefits of in-store personalisation are potentially game-changing thanks to the combination of low-cost production and premium price tags resulting in impressive profit margins.

Rob Goleniowski is sales support manager at www.rolanddg.co.uk/retailsolutions