How Environments Affects Customer Shopping Experience

Sarah Philomena Schmidt

Sarah Philomena Schmidt

"I consult with creative brands, using innovation, 3D tech, and art to transform brand communications, creating impactful customer journeys that drive business growth."

From sales price to customer service, there are many factors that affect consumer shopping habits. However, one of the most undervalued aspects of the customer shopping experience is the store environment. Beyond basic store layout, factors like location and competition also play a role in shopping behavior.

The emergence of online shopping vastly changed the retail landscape, allowing shoppers to order items from home. While seemingly convenient, the change took away the ability to look over a product before buying. Online shopping habits created a dip in engagement and a rise in returns as a result.

Seeing, touching, and trying out products in stores is a vital part of the customer shopping experience. Luckily, virtual spaces have made it possible for online customers to analyze potential purchases from home.

In this blog we will discuss the following:

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How In-Store Scenery Changes the Customer Shopping Experience

Compared to other retail options, stores garner the most commercial success with their shoppers. A recent study by the online merchandising company, First Insight found that people spend more money in-store than online. Because of this, giving the customer a pleasurable in-store experience is essential in creating sales.

In-store layout and scenery are the first aspects companies take into consideration. The perfect layout means offering shoppers an engaging and appealing customer shopping experience. Interior design and architecture play a large role in customer satisfaction as well as their likelihood to buy a product.

Creating a Comprehensible Layout

The most basic necessity of any successful store is an understandable floor plan. Layouts can change based on the service or products being offered. In the end, though, the space needs to be able to showcase the product in its most appealing light.

Shoppers enjoy the ability to see, feel, and try out the product before purchase. That is why grocery stores have aisles of food and clothing outlets have fitting rooms. Customer comprehension of the product and its space leads to greater appeal. Therefore, greater appeal means a higher chance of purchase.

Store Settings for the Customer Shopping Experience

The decrease in consumer engagement over the years has led companies to become creative with their spaces. Once the shopper is attracted to the store, they want to have a reason to stay. Nike sporting outlets, for example, have added custom-made sneaker options to engage consumers with the product.

Nowadays, people are looking for more than window shopping. They want stores to provide them with a story or memorable experience that they cannot get anywhere else.

Improving customer shopping experience

With E-commerce on the rise, consumers look for brands that offer the best online shopping experience.

The External Challenges of Operating a Physical Store

However, the success of a store is not only reliant on what is inside. Even after perfecting the layout and creating an attractive experience, there are still many external elements that hinder success.


Choosing a storefront with high volumes of traffic and visibility is essential. There is no chance to succeed if people can’t reach the store. Therefore, making sure that the location has high amounts of foot traffic should be the top priority.

Furthermore, companies look for locations where shoppers are abundant. Visibility in a location convenient to the customer means less money spent on marketing toward a specific location. This is why it is more profitable to operate out of a mall than in a small shop far away.


While the store should be located in a retail-oriented space to attract customers, it also must be far from competition. Instead, focussing on placing stores with complementary services near each other is needed. For example, a high-end athletic-wear shop would benefit from a sporting goods shop rather than a discount variety store.

Online Retail

Perfect location and lack of competition aside, none of the efforts matter if people stop going out to shop altogether. Online retail has grown increasingly popular in recent years, especially due to the pandemic closing down of many retail centers. Even after physical retail spaces became safe to operate in, online shopping habits have risen out of convenience.

The trend toward digital is here to stay. Most people enjoy the ability to examine a product or experience a store. However, nothing beats the ease of clicking an item to the doorstep.

Final Considerations

Above were just a few aspects businesses consider before settling on a location. However, the total amount of variables to consider for a store’s success is innumerable. Things such as the cost of rent, consumer demographics, and even inclement weather can all affect the overall profit margin.

Realistically, there is very little control over how companies can ensure they choose a successful location. Today, it seems the costs of running a physical store are beginning to outweigh the benefits. Luckily, virtual spaces help bridge the gap.

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Customer shopping experience with 3D Spaces

The environment in which the product is placed also plays an important role in influencing the customer’s purchase decision.

Virtual Spaces:  Merging the Physical and Digital Customer Shopping Experience

Virtual spaces merge all the benefits of operating a storefront with the convenience of reaching a consumer base from home.  As a result, brands are beginning to offer their consumers VR experiences in order to sell their products. Compared to opening a new physical store or outlet, there are many more benefits that come with operating virtually.

All the Perks, None of the Costs

Virtual spaces offer a full, in-store experience without the need for a physical store. Again, shoppers love the ability to test or examine a product before buying it. Having the item within reach allows people to become attached, making them more likely to purchase.

Online shopping habits have taken the physical aspect away from shopping, resulting in lower purchase rates and record item returns. Adding a virtual space to showcase the product allows online shoppers to become attached without needing a physical store.

A Truly Unique Customer Shopping Experience

Another benefit to showcasing products in the virtual space is limitless creativity. Experiential stores today give consumers a unique customer shopping experience. The same can be done in virtual spaces without the limitations of set dimensions and even physics.

Limitless possibility means virtual stores can be anything imaginable through any digital medium. Any experience or storyline companies want to give the shopper is possible. In a virtual layout, the space is at the product’s disposal.

Showcase Products with Ease

What may be the best part of it all is that virtual spaces are easy to maintain. Once the final space is ready, all companies must do is load it into the Metaverse or any other medium. From there, companies send the space to customers and allow them to enjoy a digital customer shopping experience.

Customer service, maintenance, and other expenses are minimal, and exposure to an at-home audience is an irresistible opportunity. Even virtual space setups are becoming easier to access, with digital artists offering amazing custom spaces to clients. With so many possibilities and benefits in favor of virtual storefronts, online shopping habits will never be the same.

3D Spaces for Consumer Experience

As a pioneer in Virtual Spaces and product placements, we at VSLB will make your brand look the best and stand out from the crowd.

Improving the Customer Shopping Experience with VSLB

Online shopping has taken over the retail landscape, and brands are realizing that it change is coming. In order to stay above the competition, online products need to be showcased beyond pictures and a description. At VSLB, we offer any brand the opportunity to show off their product from all angles in the virtual space.

We invite you to consider working with us today. As leaders within the digital art community, we can offer your brand and your customers a unique virtual shopping experience. Contact us today to begin your campaign in the virtual age.

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