The retail environment matters a lot when it comes to customer experience today – and customer experience is the key to building loyalty and brand resilience. Plants, including artificial plants, have a lot to add to any retail environment and this is something that more and more retailers are beginning to realise. Increasingly since COVID-19, customers want to feel safe and relaxed in retail spaces – adding artificial greenery or flowers can contribute to this, as well as creating a distinctive space that reflects the vision and values of your brand.
The science bit
There are plenty of studies that have found that plants can have a very positive influence when it comes to boosting our mood. One study found that the presence of plants indoors relaxes almost everyone and indoor plant life can also have a positive impact on energy levels and engagement. So, for retailers looking to create a space in which customers can feel relaxed and ready to shop, the use of plants can be a great way to do this. Further studies have shown that if artificial plants are realistic in their aesthetic, it can have exactly the same effect on the mind as a living plant.
Creating a space that customers will want to return to
Artificial Plants have been found to contribute to an environment that is very favourable for retail activity. In addition to being relaxing, plants are also easy on the eye and can be distinctive too, especially artificial plants that look great all year round with limited maintenance required. One shopping centre in the UK found that adding plants into the retail environment was so successful for retail tenants that it resulted in the second highest net profit per square foot in Britain. Plants and flowers can be used to create an air of exclusivity, to channel brand imaging and messaging and to organise environments, whether that relates to social distancing measures or optimal queuing or customer journey routes around a store. All of this can be achieved in a way that makes the space one that customers will want to return to – and shop in – repeatedly.
A growing trend
The impact of plants in a retail environment is something that more and more retailers are now beginning to catch on to. Whether this is vertical green walls inside the store or in walkways or areas outside a store, there are many opportunities for using plants to help enhance and optimise customer experience. They can be – and are being – used in many different ways. You don’t have to look far to find plants in a retail environment, whether that is creating a space where shoppers can relax in between stores or when it comes to directing foot traffic. Many retailers have found out for themselves the enhancing effects of plants in this environment simply by testing it out. This is very easy to do, especially when working with artificial plants that offer a huge variety of choice and which require very little ongoing maintenance.
Retail environments need all the help they can get today to remain competitive when it comes to attracting customers. The use of plants offers an opportunity to improve aesthetics, create an environment that relaxes almost everyone and to bring a little of the outside in to create a more appealing and distinctive atmosphere for any store.