After a long hiatus of physical retail therapy, the Malaysian economic sectors are finally opening up. Some quarters of society now prefer online shopping for its convenience, while others are enthusiastic about visiting retail stores again. Retailers around the country are beefing up their stores to enhance the shopping experience. Thus, it is a good time to understand retail interior design for Malaysian entrepreneurs.

Here are the basics to get you started on the right track. There are many more to retail interior design, but let’s cover the basics first.

Be an attention seeker

While retail stores are mushrooming everywhere, not all may get the attention of customers. A retail store needs to create attention so that customers from the ends of malls can be attracted. Some parties may think it is expensive to have eye-catching visuals. In fact, a visual display is crucial to a retail store.

Without a visual display, your chances of converting a potential into a purchasing customer may be slim. It would take passing customers to notice your store. If you have a great visual display, a customer from across the walkway could be enticed to inspect further. So, make your retail store an attention seeker for customers to notice you.

Customer journey & experience

Finally when you do get the customer to your store, it now has to turn into making your customer linger longer. This is where the customer journey begins. It is also the start of your customer’s experience in your store. The least you could do is make the customer feel comfortable.

When customers walk into your store, make them feel welcomed and at ease. Lighting, store flow, product placements, neutral interior colours with a hint of corporate brand, interactive space and climate all play a role in collectively producing a conducive atmosphere for your customers. Lead them from the front to the back and all the way to the exit with proper & functional signages. If there is a hero product on display, highlight it in the heart of the store but only have a mini price tag nearby. Generally, where the eyes are fixated, the feet will follow.

Subtle Brand Communications

When you have a retail store, you would want to feature your brand as much as possible. Maybe wrapping the whole store in the brand identity seems appropriate. Not necessarily. Customers are still human and if every detail in your store is orange, that will be off-putting even to the employees.

Branding is essential to ensure your customers can recognise and remember your brand. Your brand identity may come through via visual merchandising displays, friendly brand voice via signages or interactive spots and highlights of your brand mission in customer touch points. A clever play on colours of the brand will further build-up the impression of your brand through your retail store. The retail store of a brand is usually where customers further assess your brand’s values and whether it matches with the customer’s values.

Breathing Space

A crowded retail store may only strike two meanings: no planning of product placements or cheap mass-produced items. However, wide spaces in retail stores do not necessarily mean premium. Although that has been the practice for premium and luxury brands, retail interior design for Malaysian entrepreneurs should take heed and begin implementing it too.

Tight for budget entrepreneurs may cringe at the wide space for leg room in their retail stores. Based on consumer behaviour, customers usually avoid crowded stores as they could be bumping into another customer while browsing. This ultimately interrupts their concentration and may leave the store altogether.

Retail Interior Design for Malaysian Entrepreneurs

No matter the size, a retail store is the forefront of a business. The more subtle and natural the shopping experience, the better chances of customers to start streaming in. There are many aspects of retail interior design that can help enhance the shopping experience. At DDEC, we offer retail interior design from ideation to construction. If you need a helping hand or a creative head to help with your retail store, contact us and we will have all necessary hands on deck.

For a relatively new e-marketplace, arTsen already has plans for the future. Among them are, reaching out to rural communities where there are rich handicrafts and arts made by community artisans and craftsmen. arTsen will continue to support merchants with training and match them with soft loans or grants from relevant government agencies. We are also planning to form a business partnership with domestic and international discerning markets for our merchants' products.