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Experience Design: Making Meaning Online


There’s been a lot of talk lately about how bored and fed up customers are with retail experiences. Traditional advertising isn’t working, and the big-name stores aren’t drawing the same level of attention they were five years ago. So what’s happening? As their lives become more digitally oriented, consumers are finding greener pastures (often in cyber stores), and are empowering themselves by shifting their purchasing power to online avenues that offer a much-needed break from the norm.

Check out Branch, a store that offers high-fashion, sustainably designed housewares; Naked & Angry, a retail site selling consumer-generated designs; and the Netflix of purse lovers, Bag Borrow or Steal. By focusing on higher-purpose merchandise, customer-created goods, and exclusive temporary ownership, online stores reach a skeptical audience that’s demanding more meaningful shopping experiences that speak directly to their personal values and lifestyles.

Sites like these prove that there are plenty of innovative ways to re-cultivate brand loyalty. Stay tuned to for next week’s installation about experience-driven stores (they do exist) that are translating principles from the digital retail world into physical space.