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UK retail and hospitality venues are expecting a surge in footfall over the next few months as the public re-engages with bricks-and-mortar businesses. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that UK retail footfall is now headlining the top five European markets in footfall recovery. Meanwhile, hospitality businesses are also “recovering their vibrancy” with more people eating out and drinking out in major cities.

Is your business prepared to handle the heavy footfall that’s ahead? Today, we outline the top tactics for providing the best customer experience amidst the post-pandemic shopping and leisure spree.

Figure out what your customers want

Knowing your customers’ needs and consumer behaviour is crucial for adapting your store or hospitality establishment to the incoming increase in footfall.

Strategic shopping

If your customers are used to shopping primarily online, then you need to find a way to link both the online and in-store experience to maximise sales in both areas. That’s where an omnichannel customer journey comes into play with the heavy employment of technology.

Customers are now shopping with more purpose; they want convenience and won’t waste their time browsing mindlessly. In-store shopping has turned into strategic shopping, meaning that people are heading to the shops less frequently but are likely to spend more during a single trip.

High-demand items

Think about when they are more likely to visit your store and compare that with previous customer flow analytics. Make sure your staff is well-prepared to handle heavy customer traffic during those days and times.

Also, inspect what inventory is in high demand and make sure you have enough stock available. You can also position it on central aisles and label it through business signage as “Best-Selling” or something similar. That way, you’re making the customer journey seamless.

Trendy interiors

In the hospitality sector, an inviting interior design that matches the brand identity is vital. It serves as a visual backdrop for your comprehensive customer experience and sets the right mood.

To create a top-notch interior design, start by defining your customer avatar first. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think about their needs and preferences. Their demands may have changed in recent years, and updating your interior design can help you attract the right kind of audience.

The new generation of customers views the hotel experience as an integral part of the journey, so you need to be able to provide them with something unique. Brands resonate with certain lifestyles and tastes, and you need to target a specific audience through your interior design and amenities.

The traveller of today is looking not only for comfort but also for connection. They value the shared experience of meeting like-minded people, so a welcoming communal space is essential.

As the new consumer is becoming more environmentally conscious, the demand for sustainable spaces is increasing. Make sure your hotel interior design features sustainable technology and materials and that it has that natural aesthetic. Novograf’s products take a thoughtful approach to the sustainability aspect of surface designs. Our 3D emulations have an extended lifespan of up to 20 years because you can repair and replace damaged patches without disposing of the whole product.

With that in mind, simplicity is key when it comes to interior design. Go for neutral colours but include custom wall art accents to highlight your brand’s individuality. Additionally, you can add an instagrammable area, which are becoming incredibly trendy in the hospitality sector. They connect the in-person experience with social media and can significantly improve your brand exposure. For instance, Novograf partnered with Greggs to create the Tasty by Greggs café, located in Primark in Birmingham. The centrepiece of the design is a showstopping sugar-strand doughnut swing that is perfect for Instagram reels and sharing.

Create an intuitive store layout

Speaking of a flawless and cohesive customer journey, creating an intuitive store layout can help you take that to the next level.

It all starts from the entrance and ends at the exit. That’s why it’s important to clearly mark your entrances and exits, especially during heavy footfall. The last thing your customers want is to spend a long time queuing. They don’t want to be crammed through the entrance or forced to impatiently push each other’s trollies to get to the exit. This will create a negative customer experience that will have an adverse effect on your business.

An eye-catching entrance

First impressions really matter in the retail and hospitality sectors. Spectacular entrances that incorporate eye-catching window graphics and floor graphics, appropriate lighting, and welcoming staff will set the tone for the customer’s journey to be perfect.

Seamless customer journey

Throughout their shopping experience, use internal signage and wayfinders to help guide customers through the aisles.

If you’re operating in the hospitality industry, create a pleasant experience by decorating the space to match the feel of your business. Wood effect emulations will suit a rustic place, where biophilic design is dominant. Custom wall art is ideal for a more edgy, avant-garde environment. During the Surface Design Show we attended in February, for example, visitors were primarily drawn to our colourful face on the wall illustration. This type of wall art will be dominating the 2022 surface design trends.

An exit to remember

While many business owners don’t pay much attention to the exits, they’re extremely important because visitors tend to remember key moments and the end, while that in the middle fades. It’s called the peak-end rule. This means that customers need to experience a positive end to their journey in order to return again.

In grocery stores, for example, customers are given coupons as they exit or have a member of staff direct them to their car and wish them something nice. Restaurants often offer a complimentary treat at the end of the meal. The opportunities for sending your customers away in a positive mindset are endless.


It’s great that footfall traffic is steadily returning to its pre-pandemic levels. However, both businesses and customers might have got out of the habit of shopping and going on leisure sprees during the pandemic. Nevertheless, it’s important to be as prepared as possible for what’s to come, so that your business can thrive.






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