Transforming your retail property into a destination

2nd January 2024 | Jack Oliver

Turning your retail property into a successful destination can be make or break for a retailer. But what do we mean by a ‘destination’?

This simply means somewhere customers will make an effort to go to and spend time at. Compare this to a traditional, transactional retail offering where customers just come to make a purchase and then leave.

A shift in consumer attitudes – particularly post-pandemic – sees many customers now only shopping physically for a unique experience.

So how can we turn your retail property into a destination?

Create an attractive space – Yuri A /

To create a destination, the property itself as well as the surrounding area must be attractive. This creates a welcoming and safe environment for customers.

Research has found that of shoppers who rated a physical retail environment a 5/5, they spent 26% more than those who rated it a 3/5. This is why creating an attractive space is so important, as it can lead to customers spending more money.

How do we do this? It all starts with the design.

A store’s visuals are the first thing a customer sees, so you want to make a great first impression. This extends to both the interior and exterior; not only do you want to create an attractive design on the inside, but enhancing your property’s kerb appeal is a great way to draw customers in.

Don’t be afraid to switch it up every now and then! One way to encourage customers to head to a retail destination is to offer something new.

You can read more about how to design a shop here.

Create an experience unavailable at home


With the rise of online shopping, there can be little incentive for customers to engage in traditional retail if the service offered is available at their fingertips. And with more people are working from home, it’s harder to encourage consumers to head out to physical shopping destinations. That’s why it’s so important to create a unique and engaging experience for customers.

One particular technique you can employ is experiential marketing. This is where you create an experience for customers in contrast to traditional marketing methods. In-store experiences such as live events can achieve this.

What is experiential marketing?

If you have the space, try creating an area where customers can rest and take a break. This can be useful as they won’t feel as much pressure to leave a retail destination. Customers are more likely to spend more time at a destination if they’re able to slow down and relax.

You can also integrate technology to create a unique experience in a variety of ways: Some stores enable you to scan QR codes to learn more about products, whilst others, such as Zara, have employed augmented reality (AR) technology to enable customers to see how products might look in a different space.

Go above and beyond to retain customers

Gorodenkoff /

Strong customer retention goes a long way to creating a retail destination. Customers coming back will build up brand loyalty and incentivise them to make an effort to use your business.

Excellent customer service and strong communication with your consumer base will help achieve this. Personalising the experience for each person who walks through the door will help build brand loyalty and makes it more likely for people to return to your business.

Loyalty programmes or discounts for returning shoppers are other ways to ensure that customers keep coming back.

Read more on how to retain your customers here.

Transforming your retail property into a destination can be a great way to increase both customer retention and spend, and there’s plenty of ways to achieve this.

The most important thing to remember, is that every destination is different. It’s key that you create a unique space that reflects your business and what you represent.


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