Put The Custom Back In Customer: What It Takes To Do Custom The Right Way.

Posted on April 25, 2018 by Carm McCormick

Put The Custom Back In Customer: What It Takes To Do Custom The Right Way.

Posted on April 25, 2018 by Carm McCormick


Today, shoppers are tech savvy.

Their shopping expectations have increased.

And they expect their deals to be personalized and customized for them.

So, why shouldn’t your physical retail experience match those types of customer expectations?

As the retail landscape evolves, you’re now in a position to watch a shift in shopper behaviours. You’re watching the line blur between online and offline experiences melt into one another, creating a single experience. You need to make sure the in-store brand experience offers a customized approach and meets the changing needs of your customers.

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report showed that customer expectations are increasing. But those retailers neglecting the new order and new standard of the shopping experience will most likely become victims to change.

Take note: The modern consumer doesn’t differentiate his or her shopping experience on a brand’s online presence versus their physical retail store – they want the same, consistent type of experience regardless of where they’re being engaged.

What does it take to do custom, so your store doesn’t get stuck playing catch up with the competition and ever-changing consumer expectations?

How long will it take to get custom-manufactured fixtures adorning your store?

Whether you’re a seasoned, multi-location retailer or a small, single bricks-and-mortar startup — the challenger brand fighting your way to market leadership — you can compete, even if it means being the David among the Goliaths.

But there’s a little clarity we need to establish first:

  • Custom is not cheap.
  • Custom will not appeal to all retailers.
  • And custom won’t be done in a couple of weeks.

Trust us. These points might sound shockingly unacceptable and less than heroic, but there’s so much truth behind them. Our experience, honesty, and good old common sense tell us these are necessary to share.

Sure, you’ll shop your store ideas around and there’ll probably be a manufacturer that’ll say, “Yeah, of course, we can do that in two weeks.” But the reality is, custom is custom for a reason.

Let’s take a quick look at what it takes to do custom the right way.


There are fresh strategies that will attract and engage your customers. As experts in designing and manufacturing custom store fixtures and displays, we know this and we’re always finding new ways to enhance the shopping experience.

Just like the need to create an experience personalized to shoppers, creating an environment that meets their expectations of your brand is just as important. Your physical shopping experience is about creating a compelling destination and a location-specific brand experience.

The challenge of redefining the in-store retail experience opens new opportunities for store planners to team with industry partners in creating imaginative fixtures, POP displays, signage, and furniture that attract, engage and command shoppers’ attention.

A custom approach is a unique approach. Nothing is cookie cutter.

Your retail experience needs to be memorable and impactful, so don’t expect to see anything standard with custom retail fixtures. That’s why we follow a process — one we’ve designed to take our clients from their original contact with us right through to the delivery of their new retail fixtures and solutions.

Step One.

We get to know you – we move to fully understand your brand, its story, the product strategies, your retailing and business objectives, your experiences, and how you want your customer to perceive you.

Then we look at your customer – we learn and discover how they shop your store, where else they shop, and what you know about them.

Step Two.

We delve into knowing what inspires you and your brand – dissect the things that inspire you and share our own ideas based on our collaborative discussions.

We’ll collaborate on elements we like, from the smallest details to the size and space of the products you’re offering, and interpret existing brand elements into new designs specifically tailored for you and your brand.

Step Three.

We get down to brass tacks on business operations – we explore the important business fundamentals that’ll play into ensuring the design we agree on will deliver on your ROI (product sizes, amount of products to be on fixtures, flexibility to downsize displays without looking empty, and so much more).

Step Four.

The budget – know it, own it, share it.

We won’t let budgets limit our creativity and innovation with respect to design, but we will have it play a practical role in the choice of materials. And we know that your budget is very important, and we’ll respect that – working with you to propose solutions above budget or help you prioritize the asks. If you’re a retailer with multiple locations, we’ll work to “value engineer” your ask by determining the best ways to allocate elements into the first store and provide some tweaks to the second or any following stores before anything is done with those locations.

Step Five.

Magic! Magic! Magic! Did we mention “magic?” Yes, this is where the magic begins. Design is a collaborative step – a huge step in our process – where options are narrowed down to a singular design.

Step Six.

And … a little more magic. It continues with the engineering and manufacturing steps, where we take raw materials and turn them into custom pieces. This typically feels like things are quiet for clients, but it’s a busy one in our facilities. And when things are ready, we’ll review with our clients at our shops.

Step Seven.

Now, we get to install and merchandise – getting those fixtures to the store, getting our clients’ products on them and prominently displayed, and readying clients to sell.

How long can custom typically take?

We’ll say it time and time again, but there is no cookie-cutter approach to doing custom retail fixtures, so there will not be a hard and fast timeline we can give; however, depending on a retailer’s needs, the average fixture or suite of fixtures should take anywhere from 9 to 12 weeks — and that starts from the time you first engage us to the time your fixtures get install in your store.

Sure, we’ve done it faster (and it taken even longer), but you’ll need to know that there are so many steps for things to happen smoothly and for the purpose of manufacturing the best fixtures of the highest quality — decisions need to be made, approvals need to be received, and changes requests can be made that go beyond the original scope.

How much will this cost?

In step 4 above, we briefly talk about the budget. So, that means it will depend on numerous factors – what your actual budget is, how many stores you need to update, the type of retail fixtures you need and want, the level of creativity necessary to bring ideas to life, the types of finishes and materials, and so much more.

The best thing is to start a conversation about what your needs are and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Custom looks good on you, and it has its privileges.

You have ideas on how to display products.

You want to take an innovative approach to your fixtures, to show off your products and your brand.

But standard, mass-produced retail fixtures don’t match your brand and your vision. You can either compromise on your vision or bring your vision to life, to your exact specs.

When you work with a partner like CBSF, you have access to skilled design and manufacturing teams with decades of experience helping clients visualize and bring life to ideas. And it doesn’t matter what you’re looking for in a fixture – we can design and engineer a custom program that will create a cohesive brand and design aesthetic.

We’ve been doing this a long time – working with clients to design and deliver retail-ready solutions to support their brand personality and promise, all intended to make your products stand out and optimize your customers’ shopping experience.

We like to think of ourselves as an extension of your brand.

Providing advanced design, engineering, and manufacturing competencies means we’re dedicated to creating the innovative retail fixture displays and programs that will deliver successful results for our clients.

From floor-to-ceiling, make CBSF your preferred retail display solution provider.

CBSF enjoys a stellar reputation among some of the nation’s most successful retailers and consumer brand companies, offering unparalleled expertise and capabilities in helping you create floor-to-ceiling visual communications and merchandise display solutions. And with a 150,000 square foot facility, we design and manufacture custom fixtures and displays, and for fulfillment and customer service excellence. CBSF is clearly positioned and capable of working with all types of materials to design and manufacture any retail program.

While the thought of a custom, personalized shopping experience may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re a small retailer, the rationale to design a space that’s unique to your retail brand has merit. If you want to thrive in a quickly evolving industry, custom might be necessary. And the decision to do so will force your competition to play second fiddle to your advancement.

Force your competition to play catch up.
We love hearing about a retailer’s future-proof vision and creating an in-store shopping experience that will impress your customers, deliver engagement, and drive revenue.

Ready to talk about how we can help you customize and personalize your store’s shopping experience?

We are.