GlobalShop 2014: A Feast for the Senses
Now that we’re back from an exhilarating few days at GlobalShop, our brains are on sensory overload and we can hardly wait to share all of the amazing insights we brought home with us from Las Vegas. When it comes to getting an up-close look at the latest retail innovations, inventions, and inspirations, there’s no place like GlobalShop. There are so many different things to see on the show floor, with everything from captivating corrugated and luminous LEDs to hypnotic holograms competing for your attention. It’s all about discovery—and the best way to be discovered is to appeal to the senses.
As far as we’re concerned, that was the theme this year: the remarkable capacity of retail designers to indulge a customer’s desire for heightened sensory interactions. Here at Medallion, we like to call this the fourth dimension of retail—the transcendent, tactile, touch-and-feel factor. Its absence from online transactions always reminds us that contact—not content—is king. Some of this stuff you have to see to believe. Here’s a look at a few highlights.
The Printable Universe Is Expanding
Printing leads the charge when it comes to upping the sensory experience of point-of-sale. Choose your weapon, because now you can print on literally anything. You can even print on toast. Yup. Toast. And on other foods like breakfast cereals and M&Ms, as well as cassette tapes, corks, LEGOs, screws… The list goes on. You name it, you can print on it. These new, multi-dimensional forms of printing know no boundaries and are only limited by the imagination.
Merchandise As Fixture
A prominent form of retail transformation takes the product for sale and uses it in the design of the fixture being used to sell it. Instead of displaying your product in traditional signage—or using a fixture that exhibits it—try designing your entire fixture out of your product. These kinds of product-selling approaches make an immediate sensory statement.
Retail As Theater
One surefire way of appealing to the senses is to go big. Make your displays larger than life, so your customer has no choice but to stop, take them in, and interact with them. Ambitious presentations reminiscent of theatrical productions make customers feel like they are a part of something special. This concept can manifest itself in everything from grand entrances and high archways to funhouse themes and interactive games—all of which create dynamic portals between the customer and the brand experience.
The Evolution of LED
LEDs have been around for a while, but they are being put to work nowadays in stimulating ways. Studies have shown that people in motion tend to slow down when they see reflective surfaces like mirrors or lights. New applications of LED lighting catch the eye of the customer in motion—giving them pause, drawing them in for a closer look, and allowing for a memorable connection.
Holograms at Point of Purchase
Most of us have seen virtual store greeters, but lots of brands are using holograms to capture customer attention at the point of purchase—right on the display rack. Think about toothpaste for a second. Or energy bars. Any product battling it out for attention in a flooded marketplace is going to benefit from a lifelike projection—that appears to float in midair—urging purchasers to opt for their brand over the others. Seeing these displays in action is like seeing into the future.
Corrugated Can’t Miss
Corrugated never fails to impress. Just as you can now print on anything, you can also make anything out of corrugated. The material can mold to fit every size, shape, and purpose. It’s so versatile that you can put a corrugated display alongside a more expensive, much heavier plastic display—and not be able to tell the difference. Corrugated continues to be where the real engineering feats—and the real cost savings—are taking place. All told, GlobalShop 2014 was as entertaining as it was enlightening. If you’d like more information on how to make innovations like these a reality for your brand, don’t hesitate to reach out to Medallion with any and all questions.