Interior design

What Makes a Retail Space Experiential?

January 1, 1

In competing with ecommerce, the commercial spaces that are experiential have an advantage over those that are not. Discover three essential interior design elements for experiential retail design and explore case studies from around the world.

Experiential retail design

The Orac Experience Centre in Barcelona, Spain, designed by The Room Studio.

Despite its staying power, the changes and turbulence in the retail landscape are hard to miss. Developments across various technologies have singlehandedly transformed the shopping experience and continue to do so, and ecommerce raised the standards on what goods deserve outings to physical destinations.

This means that the commercial spaces that are experiential have an advantage over those that are not.

But how does a commercial space allow for experiences? Below, discover three key interior design elements for experiential retail design.

The Pillars of Experiential Retail Design

An in-store experience is the cognitive response generated from a brand’s stimuli and interactions. In a physical space, the experience is influenced by design decisions that include cutting-edge technology, multi-sensory scenography, and event-ready floorplans.

Cutting-Edge Technology

When leveraged correctly, technology can truly contribute excitement into the scenography of a space to offer a sense of novelty.

Think of the awe that people feel when they visit iconic areas like Times Square in New York or Shibuya in Tokyo, as well as museums and planetariums. How can designers develop that wow effect right in your store?

This technology might include any of the following:

  • 3D mapping
  • Holographic technology
  • Projection mapping
  • 360° video effects
  • Virtual reality headsets
  • Gaming kiosks
  • Unique vending machines
  • Digital signage
  • Photo booths

Creating an all-encompassing experience using technology isn't always an easy feat. In most cases, it might require significant budget spending on the technology itself, as well as on development and creative design.

Beyond its aesthetic value, technology typically becomes experiential when it's participatory and requires some amount of entertaining interactions with customers. Incorporating design elements such as lighting and music can also truly help the technology become experiential.

Samsung KX

At Samsung KX, Samsung’s experiential showroom, it only made sense that the attractions would be powered by tech. In the Gaming Bus, the Samsung Odyssey Ark is complemented with surround sound Dome Technology for full immersion. Other amenities include a racing car simulator and gaming spaces. Live events and an on-site cafe complete the branded experience.

UK, SamsungKX, London, KSS, Retail, Rockfon Mono Acoustic, 1800x1200, White, Showrooms

Orac Decor Experience Centre

Designed by The Room Studio, the new Orac Decor Experience Centre places scenographic artistry front and centre. A trompe-l’oeil, audiovisual experiences, curated lighting, and acoustic comfort are just some of the elements the designers brought into the staging of the showroom.

Showroom in Orac Experience Center in Barcelona Spain with Rockfon Eclipse Customised

Boutique Vorwerk

At the Boutique Vorwerk branches across France – the brand known for its Thermomix® kitchen appliance – the store layouts are organised in a way to highlight cooking demonstrations.

Boutique Vorwerk in Lyon France with Rockfon Mono Acoustic white

La Samaritaine Department Store

Like a single brushstroke, the monolithic Rockfon Mono Acoustic ceiling seamlessly completes the Art Nouveau and Art Deco elements that make the LVMH-owned department store such a historic gem.

Shopping Centre in La Samaritaine in Paris France with Rockfon Mono Acoustic.

Van Mossel Mercedes-Benz

Rockfon Color-all acoustic ceiling tiles were installed at a branch of the Van Mossel Automotive Group in Rotterdam that represents the Mercedes-Benz brand. The tiles further enrich the design palette, with white, black, and grey hues predominantly used in larger dimensions for a serene ambience. “Customers shouldn’t be disrupted. Their focus should be on the cars”, explained the construction project planner Berry Maas.

Van Mossel Automotive Group in Rotterdam Netherlands with Rockfon Krios A24-Edge

The Mall of Tripla

Rockfon Mono Acoustic was installed over the escalator, accompanied by halo-like sunken lighting strips, while in other areas, Rockfon Industrial Black acoustic baffles were installed behind the aluminium surface. This resulted in a striking structure with a highly absorbent surface. The acoustic solutions used helped the mall ultimately secure LEED Platinum – the highest level of the esteemed green building certification. 

FI, Tripla, Helsinki, Arkkitehdit Soini & Horto, Sweco Architects Oy, Retail, Industrial black, A-edge, 1800x1200, Black