“How to Thrive in an Ever-Evolving Retail Landscape” by Lise Wilson via Total Retail plus intro to outstanding window graphics vendor who is providing a very special discount for BRA Retail Members

“How to Thrive in an Ever-Evolving Retail Landscape” by Lise Wilson via Total Retail plus intro to outstanding window graphics vendor who is providing a very special discount for BRA Retail Members

Credit: Getty Images by Hitoshi Yamada

The retail industry has undergone a dramatic transformation in the face of factors such as’s dominance and an uncertain post-pandemic landscape. To stay successful, retailers have had to adapt their stores rapidly — from reworking layouts to setting up delivery or pickup areas — all while ensuring customer service is still at its highest level. Technology will be crucial for success moving forward; those that embrace it are sure to come out ahead!

Welcome to the modern-day store. Fluid, dynamic and responsive to customers’ needs. Are you tailoring the journey to meet shoppers’ unique needs? If not, here are some ideas for meeting today’s shoppers where they are.

Face and Embrace Change

Greek philosopher Heraclitus coined the well-known phrase, “Change is the only constant in life.” And don’t retailers know it?

It’s critical to seamlessly meet customers in their chosen channel. This enables customers to shop in-store, curbside, online or through a combination of channels, which is key. Don’t forget to continue cleanliness and safety protocols — and communicate them. This helps ensure ongoing trust when shoppers come through your brick-and-mortar doors.

With the surge of multiple consumer touchpoints, you must understand which options work best for your shoppers and your brand. Using a “product testing” format can help you understand what works and what doesn’t. It can provide insights into delivering a great customer experience (CX).

Related story: Strategic Store Design is Critical to Meet Anticipated Increases in Holiday Traffic

Consider Your Digital Approach 

In 2020, many retailers scrambled to create/increase their digital presence. They introduced or enhanced brand apps, tried chatbots, and enabled customers to connect virtually 24/7.

The ever-changing dynamics of the pandemic made for more forgiving shoppers. The need for speed was understood — as we were all learning to cope together. Today, even the smallest glitches can erode your brand.

Today’s online-to-in-store (omnichannel) interactions must seek to be harmonious. Understanding shopper preferences, dislikes and buying patterns, regardless of channel, is core to the equation. Implementing solutions that capture those needs can help build loyalty and increase shopper spending with your brand.

Signage, Store Design and Extras Matter

Even in the digital age, in-store signage and store design continue to play an elevated role in how shoppers interact with brands. Signage conveys a variety of things, from business hours to navigation, to hiring messages and health protocols.

Shoppers still want to know you’re taking precautions and protecting them — especially as COVID is still evolving — but this no longer needs to be the lead message. Review your signage approach and determine where this messaging falls in the hierarchy. Look for ways to create brand-aligned callouts for this safety information. Make it a part of your day-to-day communications rather than an awkward add-on.

Store design can be leveraged for more than aesthetics; it allows retailers to create an unparalleled customer journey. Key elements such as well-guided store flow and displays provide customers with easy access to products that are in demand or even increase those demands. Ensuring impulse items are included at checkout and along the most-traveled paths can provide inspiration and increase purchases.

A focus on simplifying navigation to areas for specific interactions such as curbside, returns and in-store pickup can help shoppers feel better guided in their visit.

Consider making shoppers’ visits even more experiential. Look to other channels for inspiration. Home improvement retailers often provide clinics on DIY projects, while craft stores include sessions on jewelry making and card crafting. What inspiration or activities can you provide to make your brick-and-mortar location(s) more inviting and engaging?

The bottom line is that retail is ever evolving. To meet customers where they are, you must shift to meet their needs and be ready for what’s on the horizon.

Lise Wilson is vice president, retail strategy at Miller Zell, a branded environment solutions company. 

In many cases, board and lifestyle specialty retailers do not have sufficient space adjacent to the windows to curate actual product for the type of dynamic window displays. That is where eye-catching window graphics come into play. We, at Board Retailers Association are pleased to announce that Wright Global Graphics has come on board as a Major Supporting Vendor Partner. Learn more by playing the video and reviewing the description and special discount details below:

Wright Global Graphics is a powerhouse in creative branding, label manufacturing, retail displays, and signage. They build and energize B2B and D2C brands across a range of industries including surf, skate, and snow. They can help your retail or showroom connect your brand to the consumer and transition them from casual shopper to interested buyer. They produce a wide range of indoor and outdoor large-format products and signage – all designed to create an informative and creative retail environment. Their family-owned and operated company has served customers worldwide since 1961.

All BRA Retail Members will receive a 20% discount on the initial order of any Wright Global Graphics products or services through June 30, 2023. Be sure to email Doug Works (BRA Executive Director) via to be introduced directly to Kim Cobb (who can help you with all your window display, in-store graphics needs and more) or simply click on the following link:

We at Board Retailers Association are here to help you to succeed by providing resources and programs as well as introducing well vetted Supporting Vendor Partners that enable you to lower day to day costs, increase margins and create more remarkable customer experiences. We provide a voice for our Retail Members and will never share your information. BRA has been “protecting retailers and a lifestyle” for 20 years (since 2003). If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form