Abra serves the luxury retail sector and alignment to the sector is important for Abra. At the same time watching trends and anticipating the future needs of our clients helps us to service them better.
A recent report by Deloitte highlighting the trends impacting the beauty sector, a key client segment for Abra, gave a lot of insights for our team to prepare for the future. A very impactful insight is the need for retailers to enhance their stores as well as their digital platforms and seamlessly connect the two to create an omni-channel presence.
As a fit-out and shopfitting partner to leading beauty brands in the region, Abra has to invest in processes, materials, technology and skills to create modern interactive experiences. These include higher integration of digital technology without losing the aesthetics, working with electrical and electronic elements, incorporating safety and respecting sustainability factors.
The key trends that will be significant in 2023 are:
Improving Store Concepts
Increasing store-based sales requires regular modernizing and refurbishing. Embracing new store concepts such as integration of digital elements like interactive screens, augmented reality (AR), and enhancing try-on hotspots can provide a contemporary shopping experience.
Smoother Omni Channel Experience
The pandemic saw a major shift to online buying and the beauty sector responded with a large investment. The re-opening of the physical stores created a new journey of discovery online, try-out in person at the physical store and perhaps a later fulfillment online. Beauty retailers are investing in technology and concepts that create a smoother omni-channel experience.
Advances in proximity sensors such as BLE beacons and Artificial Intelligence are showing the way for a much-personalized experience for physical shoppers. In-store recommendations based on customer profiling, invitation for product launches based on buying history, and preemptive offers are helping beauty retailers to sell more online as well as in-store.
Instagrammble Retail Interiors
Modernizing the stores with a high-end look will pay dividends as many high-end brands are refurbishing their stores towards “instagrammable” flagship stores. These stores include beauty displays for AR make-up try-on, attractive product placements, and many other touch-and-feel experiences. To draw customers to stores, retailers are aiming to make in-store experiences more enjoyable and informative than their websites and apps.
Wooing customers to physical stores will require a higher investment in high-street high-end luxury experiences. Comfort, convenience, safety and sustainability will have to hide behind a glamour look and feel. And this is not just for premium brands but across all segments to keep the interest high.
Attracting customers with in-store beauty treatments will proliferate across all regions. On offer will be personalized in-store services by licensed professional stylists who customise hair, skin, brow, and makeup services in accordance with the customer’s needs and wishes. Also included will be facial treatments, makeup, and brow services as well as specific beauty advice with tips.
Stores will incorporate not just display of products but also workspaces for try-on, free clinics, and counselling areas.
The year 2023 will also see a growth in the use of larger screens in retail stores as Augmented Reality sparks new innovations. A large in-store display can augment a customer’s face with their selected make-up choices. All the tech behind AR equipment has to stay hidden or blend with the aesthetics of the pop-ups and this is a challenge our Abra team is working on.
Another innovation in design and execution is connected to the strategically placed BLE Beacons that monitor the movement of customers within the store and provide interactive and pre-emptive offers to their mobile handsets.
Abra, a trusted interior fit out company in Dubai, is geared up to meet the challenges of the future and though this year’s retail trends put a greater expectation on our teams’ skill and ingenuity we ensure that we can help our customer realize the benefits of emerging trends. We’ve already begun understanding and aligning with clients’ needs in areas of glamours retail interior design, bespoke joineries, ubiquitous utilities, and invisible technology.
Anand Kumar, Managing Director at Abra