Retail (r)Evolution by David Kepron
Retail (r)Evolution, the latest title from ST Books and VMSD magazine, takes the reader through the ways the human brain has traditionally responded to retail environments, and how recent technological innovations are changing everything. From increasing reliance on handheld devices to the emergence, effects and future of social networking both inside and outside of stores, the contemporary human brain is being rewired to perceive the world in a very different manner than even half a generation ago. Author David Kepron cites numerous scientific studies that demonstrate the seismic shifts in customer attitudes, behavior and actions regarding, among other things, selection and choice, expectations and interactions (or not) with retail staff, and overall, long-term satisfaction with a brand or store based on in-store experiences. Not everything required of retail designers will involve the future, however. According to Kepron, smart brands and stores will continue the practices that have made them successful for thousands of years, particularly those shopping aspects related to ritual and play, which have been essential to human interaction since primordial times. These aspects of ritual and play will take different forms in the future, but their vital importance to positive, full-bodied in-store experiences will remain. Originally trained as an architect, David Kepron has, himself, evolved over the years from an architectural specialist into a multi-disciplinary consultant. His award-winning work with top retail design firms is balanced with considerable research on the brain. Kepron s interest and passion for the subject is on display throughout the book, which is written in an easy-to-read and conversational style reminiscent of the many presentations he has made on this topic throughout the world. Though it tackles several biological terms related to the brain, Retail (r)Evolution makes understanding their functions easy, so that reading about them isn t like a trip back to a dreaded high-school science class. Once you read this book, you will never think about your brain (or the customer s) the same way again. Anyone involved in retail design, store or brand management will benefit from joining the (r)Evolution.