Immersive Retail


Why do shoppers choose to visit an auto dealership? Do they begin their search for vehicles online or do they start the decision making process at the dealership? How do the shoppers feel when they leave? Is your dealership a Living Brand? Is the dealership leaving an imprint in their mind?

Honda-Driving-Simulator[1]_500pxWe are dealing with a much more educated consumer known as the “the auto-enjoyer.” Retailers, in general, need to adapt to an environment that stimulates personalized experiences and allows for online convenience. In today’s technology, information is readily available at your fingertips. It is proven that 50% of auto-enjoyers do their own research prior to arriving at the showroom.


The challenge is in constructing a seamless car-buying experience that integrates in-store, transactional, and post-sale goals. We gain insights by looking into the fashion industry since it sets the stage for the retail industry as a whole. The last 20 years have seen huge shifts in retail landscape. The focus has shifted from sales to the customer experience, which makes it important (and exciting) for designers to create these customer-centric experiences.


Designed spaces are most successful when we thoughtfully consider the people using them. If we evoke an emotional response from the customers, it’s called an Immersive Experience. Immersive Retail is a retail space that connects the shopper on an emotional level through personalized dialogues that gives them control over the experience.thYBDSGYW2_500px

How can we enhance the experience and stimulate exploration for the user?
– Create a space that heightens the senses – relevant, memorable, interactive and evokes emotion
– Create a unique personalized encounter that encourages the consumer to return
– Keep re-balancing, based on the changing demographics and needs
– Design a flexible space that allows for changing landscapes/ set a new stage for product display
– Integrate technology
– Provide an autotrack with multiple driving terrains
– Provide interactive product displays and signage
– Shift from physical merchandise to experimental merchandise


How can dealerships become a destination spot?
– Enhance Hospitality in your brand
– Provide a sense of community or gathering
– Provide excellent customer service
– Provide other amenities that draw auto-enjoyers to your showroom
– Create an intimate environment
– Integrate the dealerships brand within the space

Currency of value is EXPERIENCE.

 “Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.” – Steve Jobs

Sarah B. Walker, CID, Associate IIDA
Vice President of Communications

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