Digital Disruption is a visual merchandising concept for Selfridges, Oxford Street, window displays launching February 2021. It explores contemporary concepts of blurring lines between the digital and physical worlds, promoting new technology sold in the retail sector.
The idea of diminishing lines between the real and virtual is presented through a virtual ‘otherworld’. This otherworld is constructed using inner computer components, as they give a recognisable sense of technology.
As this virtual ‘otherworld’ looms, it brings a great sense of unease. This unease comes from the unknown possibilities of advanced technology, that has potential to make our lives better or worse. As technology breaks down and glitches, it visualises this fear. It exposes how little we know about the gadgets we use in our daily lives. When your computer glitches, do you always know how to fix it? Does this make you feel out of control?
As purchases move more and more online, physical stores face the challenge of keeping relevant to customers. It is predicted that in the US, by 2024 e-commerce sales will have taken over physical sales. Customers now want more than to just browse products, they want a ‘shopping experience’. Whether that be café in store or a pop-up event, in store shopping is about entertainment. Highly creative retail design is a way of providing this experience. The first impression of a store is the window displays, so an eye catching, immersive display would be the first part of entertainment for a heightened shopping experience.
‘Cyber enhanced retailing’ seeks to merge aspects of online and physical shopping to create a more harmonious experience for the customer using both. Window displays have begun to adapt to this digitisation through things such as screens being incorporated into design, QR codes linking online features on windows, and interactive displays.
Where the real and virtual can be seen coming together in the physical world, trends predict this inspiring visual design. 'Otherworldly visuals’ present digital aesthetics to capture a new age of technology influencing our way of life.