The Future of Retail: Humanising Tech


Head of visual and store design at cosmetics retailer Space NK Paul Wilkins spoke to Retail Design World recently on the future of the retail space and the role technology has to play.

“The key difference between shopping online and walking through the door of a shop is the experience… The trend for anybody growing a bricks and mortar business is to really focus on that experience. Knowledgeable staff, sampling opportunities, the process of being able to test or demonstrate… in stores where there is a lack of that you just pick things up, and there is no difference to buying it online.”

Wilkins feels that the humanising of  technology will prove key, harnessing the benefits of tech but using it in a new way for the retail space. “Seeing skills and craft alongside the latest cutting edge technology… that would be great to consider from a store perspective. Humanising technology acts as a backlash against anonymous clicking online,” he says.

The priority is to give the customer a seamless experience between online and offline shopping. Wilkins says “It’s all about joined-up thinking and a joined-up approach. If you do it properly there is a place for us all.”

USP: The beauty industry is leading the way in retail innovation, demonstrating that the future of technology in retail is to combine in-store experiences with consistency across all shopping platforms.