Within this culture, digital is expected to be seamlessly
integrated into the overall retail experience. So it is not an
afterthought in store design. Right from the start of any project,
great effort is put into ensuring a lack of delineation between
the physical and the digital.
Supporting this integrated digital experience is the emer-
3 QR Code Everything
gence of robots as greeters, most commonly seen in financial
institutions. Expect to see more robots as lobby managers and
greeters providing customers with convenient access to infor-
mation and assistance as the technology improves and repre-
sents yet another link between the physical and digital worlds.
Chinese consumers have fully embraced QR codes. Scanning
of these matrix barcodes had reached 113.6 million a month by
late 2013, according to an Ad Age report. The widespread usage
is mostly due to the Chinese mobile messaging app WeChat,
which has more than 700 million active users. Its built-in QR
code reader allows users to share contact information, make
payments, transfer money, and follow other WeChat accounts.
Since China is a digital nation, it has embraced QR codes
as the link between conventional messaging found on printed
signs with the digital world, most commonly defined by the
mobile phone. As a result, QR codes are used on all print
communication, both large and small.
QR codes will continue to play a large role as more
augmented-reality applications are created for various functions, such as providing better wayfinding or creating immersive popup stores. Yihaodian.com, China’s top online retailer,
has 1,000 virtual supermarkets where customers can shop and
have products delivered to their homes the same day.
4 Faster than Fast
Everything moves faster in China, from the largest high-speed
train network in the world to the rapid expansion of megacities and the creation of new ones. Speed to market is needed
to fill voids in market opportunities as new cities emerge with
expansive malls and High Street shopping areas. This growth
Technology is used heavily. DIY retailer B&Q uses high-tech solutions to show consumers
how their homes would look after renovation in this Shanghai store.
Design detail is emphasized from retail stores to restaurants
like this Atto Primo in Shanghai, designed by Gensler.