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5 Interior Design Best Practices for Malls that Help Engage Shoppers

Developing a mall interior is about providing a world-class experience driven by customer feedback.

Malls have the potential to be more than industrial shopping centers; well-designed mall interiors can push into the boundaries of high art and modern technology. Whether designing a new development or overhauling an existing building, mall interior designers strive to create something transcendental. If this goal is achieved, customers will follow. Here are some mall interior best practices that will help you inch closer to achieving greatness while providing the best possible experience for shoppers.

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Design your mall interior around experiences

The food court is more important than you think

Contemporary mall interior designs keep customers coming back

Cleanliness and space are crucial

Technology adds an exciting dimension

Does your mall design need exciting features to keep customers engaged? Download our ebook, “A Guide to the New Digital Infrastructure for Malls & Retail Properties” today to learn how modern technologies like augmented reality can help.

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Design your mall interior around experiences

With more than 84 million visitors in 2019  and a total retail floor area of 5.4 million square feet, the Dubai Mall isn’t just one of the largest and most heavily trafficked malls on the planet, it’s also one of the most significant buildings in the world. It’s a beacon for shoppers from around the globe, and it’s easy to understand why. Even though it packs a jaw-dropping 1,200 stores, the Dubai Mall’s appeal doesn’t end with its shops. In fact, that’s where the appeal starts. What makes the Dubai Mall special is the broad range of experiences packed inside for shoppers to enjoy, from a 155 million-year-old dinosaur fossil to the Dubai Aquarium.

Experiences give shoppers a reason to return to your mall even when they don’t necessarily feel like shopping. These experiences don’t even have to be free, though you’ll want to take into consideration the primary demographics that are visiting your mall when determining which experiences to include and what the pricing structure should be. When you place these experiences tactically, you can simultaneously engage visitors while increasing the odds of generating more walk-ins to stores.

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The food court is more important than you think

The food court offers an extra layer of appeal for countless shoppers, a fact that some big-box retailers have come to embrace. In fact, Ikea found that 30% of shoppers in its food court come specifically for that experience, a somewhat shocking number. The idea behind the food court is ingenious, giving customers a place to rest and ponder about potential purchases or visiting the experiences that you’ve integrated into your mall interior.

When designing a mall interior, you should keep the appeal of the food court in mind; its location, the restaurants within it, the types of food, the design, and so on.  Don’t think about the food court as a separate piece of the mall, but rather something that should flow with the broader design.

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Contemporary mall interior designs keep customers coming back

When designing your interior space, keep current trends in mind. Feel free to look at examples from around the world to determine what works best for you. If the mall interior you’re designing is for a new development, look at existing malls to inform your layout and the corresponding interior design. For existing developments, find malls with similar layouts that can act as a stepping-off point for your creation. Most of all, consider the types of stores and attractions you want to integrate. For example, the West Edmonton Mall is a veritable theme park set inside a shopping center, often ranked as one of, if not the, best malls in the world. It strikes a perfect balance between its family-friendly aesthetic and bold, contemporary stylings, which gives it a striking appeal. Consider this balance in your own design and how your target demographic will respond.

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Cleanliness and space are crucial

The coronavirus pandemic has put personal hygiene and personal space back in the public eye, and your mall interior needs to support these views. Your designs will influence the sense of space that shoppers feel as they move through your mall. Scale affects perceptions of art, so play around with the scale of objects that you’re placing in your mall to make a room feel larger. Furniture can also influence how clean the space feels. For instance, white surfaces are prone to looking dirty if they aren’t properly maintained, so you may want to use them sparingly.

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Technology adds an exciting dimension

The last time a building wowed you, it was likely because of its scale or art, or maybe it was some other X factor. For many, technology is that X factor, a bow linking everything neatly together. When designing a mall interior, make technology an active consideration. Digital signage can capture more views than static options, keeping shoppers engaged with displays. Augmented reality experiences can complement your mall’s activities. Most importantly, you can use technology to personalize the experience for shoppers. The toolset needed to give mall interiors a digital edge is rapidly finding its way to more locations, becoming a driving factor behind the “malls as entertainment movement.”

Resonai’s Vera platform can provide your new or existing development with these features, tying together the experiences, design, and stores that you provide into a cohesive, compelling package. Are you ready to learn more? Get in touch with Resonai today and set up a free demonstration.

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