Creating Smart Window Displays That Drive Sales & Foot Traffic
We all know from experience an obvious thing that a proper and interesting display is worth more than a thousand words. The first impression we build in customers’ mind is vital, because it is the base on which we are judged. The first thing we come to know about a person or a thing creates a halo effect that can influence our further attitude towards it. It is this situation that has to be exploited in such a way that it helps us create a positive image of our brand, the window displays allowing us to create the first impact.
Visual merchandising comes in this situation as a helpful “tool” in all the endeavors that are connected with the way in which we use imagery to improve our brand awareness and our sales. Retailers have understood that there is a lot to be done about promoting their products and that they can invest in some marketing strategies only by applying a set of general principles that don’t necessary require investment in terms of money, but “investment” in critical thinking and a good knowledge of the principles of visual merchandising.
We have compiled some useful information from certain sources, some taken from an entire book dedicated to visual merchandising (Visual Merchandising. A Guide for Small Retailers, printed at Iowa State University) about window displays for a better understanding of the benefits that a proper approach of the way in which we present our merchandise can produce in just a few steps.
It has been stated that there is less than 11 seconds the average amount of time an individual spends looking at a window display and, as a result, he can be lured inside the store, or not, and as well as that almost 70% of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale. Many people say that the main reason for their purchase of an item is connected with the fact that they saw it displayed and they liked it. Many don’t actually buy stuff they need, but, more often, things they like.
To exploit this situation, you need to ensure the best strategy, and for doing that, you need to take a closer look and think of the following things:
- Be careful not to crowd too much merchandise into a window, because customers might find it hard to understand what you’re selling and what items are being promoted. Customers may also lose interest when the same window is displayed for too long.
Some of the benefits in trying to cope with the fact that at times your display might look boring and uninteresting are connected with the way in which we reconsider our approach. The best treatments that have proven successful include the use of realistic settings, people finding it the best way to actually get to know how a certain item of clothing or whatever is used.
Using sculpture, paintings or art objects for a touch of class is another idea that can help, people appreciating not simply art by itself, but the fact that it renders a certain fanciful aspect, it is a matter of taste. Being capable of recognizing a piece of art is a sign of a well-educated person.
Media tie-ins, with current area activities, films, stars or best-selling books might seem appropriate for apparel stores, having the benefit that they can communicate with people of different ages and tastes.
- When planning interior displays, the theme and image presented on the exterior must be carried throughout the interior of the store to provide consistency.
- Use a display that reflects the target customers; use the best of the collection in stock.
- Unusual textures or objects may attract and highlight the display. You can use certain objects that might seem odd or vintage; they can help your collection gain creativity and originality.
- If you consider displaying one object but you can’t find anything to emphasize it, just surround it by a black background and illuminate it from different angles. The contrasts are seen as a good way to create a center of interest.
- Shiny surfaces emphasize and enlarge objects. If you need more ways to improve the aspect of an item, make use of materials and other stuff that can reflect, not absorb the light.
- The use of repetition generally leads to the idea that it is communicated something important; repeated shapes, colors or motifs reinforce the aspects that are presented, creating a center of interest.
- Proportions take on more meaning when items define one another.
- Use a balanced ratio of props in order to avoid the appearance of a strange situation, people thinking that you’re actually selling your props rather than your merchandise.
- George Blitzer