Future Thinking: Eye Tracking and Retail Design

Josh Eckert - retail design - globe

The most remarkable part of this environment can’t be shown with a still image. As you approach the back shelves, discreet cameras track your eyes’ movements. When you look at a shelf, sophisticated software detects the object of your gaze and lights glow around that shelf. When your eyes drift left, the computer tracking your pupils dims the light on the last object of your attention and illuminates the next. The computer reacts so quickly to your moving pupils that light seems to follow your eyes in real time.

This system can track the eyes of only two people at a time, and the viewer has to be within a certain range for the system to work.

Tobii is working on this. It’s called passive eye-tracking, and it should be ready in 12 months or less.

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Retail Design Concept for a Mens Watch Store: Buoys and Feather Reed Grass

Boutique Watch Store Design Concept

The chrome lanterns are at once beautiful and industrial because they look like links of a chain.
The chrome lanterns are at once beautiful and industrial because they look like links of a chain.

The concept hasn’t been done before, and it’s perfect for a watch boutique with light foot traffic. The design diverges from the sort of Peter Marino glitz that usually characterizes luxury watch stores. Buoys, feather reed grass, and chrome give the space a “luxury missile silo” feel.

The contractors who would build this imaginary space would simulate the water with resin on plexi. Real water would be logistically challenging, messy, and expensive.

Retail Design Concept for a Mens Watch Store: Buoys and Feather Reed Grass

The Sweet Spot: When Retail Design is Modern but not Minimalist

Milan bakery interior by Daniela Colli

If I link particular emotions to a desert—warmth, vast open landscapes, solitude, quiet and stillness—the Milan bakery will coax the same feelings out of me, albeit to a lesser degree. These feelings partially displace ones of tight space and clutter I’d feel at an ordinary bakery.

Compared to this Milan bakery’s interior, a minimalist interior is a little cheaper and a lot less challenging* to design. A minimalist bakery would be clean, spare, and maybe even elegant. But because it doesn’t reference anything other than itself, it can’t contend with a modern-theatrical interior’s power to rouse emotions.

Are good feelings sufficient ROI?

Riddle me this: how might the bakery’s costly interior change consumer behavior? Ideally, this retail environment should (1) draw consumers Continue reading “The Sweet Spot: When Retail Design is Modern but not Minimalist”

The Sweet Spot: When Retail Design is Modern but not Minimalist