Experience Retail in 2023

Six Ways to Connect

Here are the six ways successful brands are connecting with consumers.

Social Media Designed Stores: Winning physical stores are designed for sharable word of mouth and social media experiences. “In China and in North America, stores, restaurants and shopping centers are being redesigned to inspire social media sharing — and it is working,” says Hodges. “Millions of shared impressions drive in-store and online sales, traffic and brand awareness.”

Family Shopping Places: Stores and restaurants are designed for children, teens, and parents, offering opportunities to engage in the physical spaces together or individually. There has never been a more important time to build environments that foster a sense of community and togetherness. “The shopping mega-center American Dream and Camp have built their brands around family shopping experiences,” Hodges observes

Health: Supermarkets and Shopping Centers: Supermarkets are adding health products and expanded health sections, and adds Hodges, “shopping centers such as Westfield Century City in Los Angeles offer a wide spectrum of health services in the shopping center.”

Five Senses Experience: Where touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste are all activated. Grocery stores are at the top of the list for five senses experiences according to Hodges. The return to physical stores has fostered a revival of bringing the five senses into the shopper’s journey in unique and imaginative ways.

Meandering Design: Replacing long monotonous straight lines of goods stacked from floor to ceiling with circular pathways creates environments that foster discovery and exploration. “Shoppers can discover and explore new products and services as though they’re in an outdoor food market,” says Hodges. “It creates excitement and engagement.”

Smart Store and Smart Customer Interactions: Hodges believes that the state of technology in stores is now equal to customers’ technical prowess. “RFID can be used for frictionless checkout or to find items in the store where you’re shopping or if not, at a store nearby, where it can be shipped to your home or office,” explains Hodges. With the growth of hybrid shopping, technological interconnectedness remains a key driver to build smart interactions. QR codes can be used to launch product videos, explain the composition of an item, demonstrate functionality, describe features, or show assembly guidelines. “Salespeople with smart CRM tools can help shoppers find items and check out in the aisle,” says Hodges. Understanding where the consumer is in their readiness for technology is a key consideration for retailers to be able to deliver meaningful enhancements.


Daniel Hodges, CEO of Retail Store Tours, a Consumers in Motion works with Fortune 500 companies to identify opportunities for innovation, performance, and revenue improvement.

He was selected as the top expert in retail in 2023 by Rethink Retail. Retail Store Tours operates in twenty-five markets around the world, including the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Retail Stores Tours has been named the official retail store tour of the NRF 2023.

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