Marketing budgets have shifted increasingly to retail design and point-of-sale materials. Showing your product to people within a close proximity makes sense. The consumer is already walking by, contemplating a purchase, they just need a little tug at their purse strings. There is the added advantage with brand stores, that you build on both the brand image whilst selling more of your product. Win-win.
That said, retail and trade shows still merit more caution and examination. They can be costly with direct sales results hard to quantify. But, they do give the marketeer a chance to meet the public in a more intimate fashion and also gauge and interact with comrades in similar industries and services.
As a designer, I find working in 3D great fun. Large format display printing techniques are more advanced and more affordable than ever. A couple of vinyl banners and a small counter is all you need…you too can be the shopkeeper, putting yourself out there physically is more important than ever, and if you don’t sell loads – you will at least – learn why.