With brick-and-mortar retail actively under threat from a growing e-commerce market, companies are being challenged to re-evaluate the way they engage with their customers in the physical realm. Companies are under pressure to give consumers a reason to make a trip to their stores over succumbing to the convenience of sitting at home in their pajamas and shopping online. Because of the rapid development of e-commerce, there is a growing necessity for retailers to prove their worth by means of marketing the in-store experience as superior to that of what online could offer. Brands are navigating the grey area between the digital and physical realms in order to successfully fulfill the needs of the modern consumer through viewing these different entities as touchpoints in the overall consumer experience.
This study explores the connection between the interior design of retail spaces and consumer behavior in the direct-to-consumer environment. The research explores the relationships between consumer behavior, intangible brand identity, and the physical (brick-and-mortar) retail environment and explores interior design’s role in the development of a new form of retail found in brands whose presence began online and later entered the physical realm. Through analyzing store aesthetics, consumer preferences, and purchasing behavior, this research provides insight into what matters to consumers in a direct-to-consumer retail environment and how designers at the forefront of this movement are adapting, and ultimately draws conclusions about how companies can utilize interior design and store aesthetics as part of the consumer journey to maximize the impact of their brand experiences.