Material Trends for Navigating the Pandemic / #3: Transparent Connections

July 6, 2020

Top of brown building

In this 4-week series, “Material Trends for Navigating the Pandemic,” our team of designers are sharing four new materials and finishes trends brought on by COVID-19, paired with ideas to breakthrough and solutions to bring these possibilities to life. 

Trend #3: Transparent Connections

Over the last several months, we have all seen the unprecedented “togetherness” shared across social media platforms. These real-world photos and uplifting content pieces are the new norms coming from both big brands and their influencers.

With this new transparency in sharing, brands have pivoted away from the priority of “sell, sell, sell.” In turn they’ve not only successfully captured our attention, but they’ve also built a new connection with their core consumers. Right now, this trend is mostly communications based; however, people will expect these behaviors to continue in-store. Walking through an experience should feel more transparent than ever before.

Neutrals add warmth that balance the open airy environment and instill a feeling of purity. Expressing this takes both 2D and 3D working together to create a more intuitive customer journey. Showing operations (instead of hiding them) will give consumers confidence to know the journey products have taken to end up in their homes. This trend will also influence how employees engage with customers, the language they use, and where that interaction takes place in-store. Brands that start to walk the talk and implement these changes will be the ones to thrive post-pandemic.

Look & Feel

How to Activate

1. Hyper-direct navigation and uninterrupted store flow will help make the shopping experience more transparent and fluid.

2. Simplify fixturing and merchandising. Remove underutilized fixtures and replace fixturing systems with more flexible and adaptable modules.

  • Visplay Fixtures that offer a solution for every need that can be continually reconfigured

3. Open it up! Transparency not only in operations but throughout the space gives confidence to consumers.

  • Skyline Design Numerous opacities and patterning options in etched glass
  • Moss Inc. Light-weight tensile fabric solution for partitions, ceiling elements, and graphics
  • Molo Design Contemporary acoustic room dividers that feel light and add a touch of warmth

Next, we’ll explore our final trend in the series – Return to Imagination (think escapism, whimsical, and vibrant) – and the solutions that bring it to life in-store.