The Anatomy Of A Perfect Window Display
Regardless of what exactly your store sells, chances are it can benefit from the use of a window display. A great window display will draw shoppers into your store, encouraging them to purchase the advertised products. The wrong display, however, will have the little-to-no effect on shoppers. Sure, some shoppers may enter you store to see what it offers, but others will walk right by without taking notice. Store owners should invest the necessary time and energy into creating the “perfect” window display, something that we're going to discuss further in today's blog post.
If you looked at ten different examples of effective window displays, you would notice they all have one thing in common: they are designed around a central theme. A theme – when used in the context of window displays – is a way for store owners and visual merchandisers to tell a story. Rather than simply tossing your products into the window and calling it a day, you should present them in a meaningful theme to which shoppers can relate.
A theme can be something as simple as the seasons. With summer officially here, for instance, there's no better time than now to design your window display with a summer theme. Dressing your mannequins in bathing suits, hats, and giving them beach bags is an excellent way to achieve this. Shoppers will take notice of your display's summer theme, at which point they'll feel more comfortable entering your store.
Does your window display have a focal point? If not, it should! Great window displays are designed around central point of focus. Doing so gives you greater control over the actions of shoppers, which subsequently will boost engagement and overall sales.
But where exactly should the focus point be? Rather than simply guessing, which is a recipe for disaster by the way, place yourself in the shoes of a shopper and ask yourself: where do I first look when passing by this window display? I recommend stepping outside to view the window display from the perspective of a real shopper. Make a note of where your eyes naturally travel, using this as the primary focal point for your display. The center of your window display should be placed here to optimal effect.
Clean and Tidy
One of the most common mistakes store owners and visual merchandisers make when setting up their window displays is trying to include too many different elements in it. A cluttered display triggers a visceral response in shoppers, overshadowing its otherwise positive effects. This is why it's critical that you keep your window displays clean, tidy, and based around a central theme.
A window display isn't something that you can create and forget about, either. Even if it looks great initially and is driving shoppers into your store, it may develop dust, dirt and trash over time, negating its beneficial effects. Try to get into the habit of cleaning your window displays on a regular basis, ensuring they look clutter-free.
Another element of a perfect window display is proper lighting. I know what you're probably thinking: my window display is already illuminated from the store's overhead lighting, so isn't this enough? Well, it depends on just how well illuminated it really is. Most standard overhead lighting is placed behind the actual window, meaning the front of the display – the most important part – remains dim and difficult to see.
There are several different lighting solutions available for window displays, some of which include track lighting, floor lamps, wall sconces or even mini chandeliers. Again, think about your store's central theme and choose the most appropriate lighting. If your store sells high-end suits and you are going for a luxurious theme, perhaps a mini chandelier would work. The key thing to remember is that you want the light fixture to illuminate the mannequins and products within your display, drawing shoppers' attention to them.
Enhance With Props
You can enhance your store's window display with props. Adding mannequins, for instance, allows store owners to create more personal and meaningful displays while showcasing their product in a more appealing manner. Other props to consider using include cardboard cutouts, signs, and even items or accessories associated with your display's theme. Just remember to keep it clean and tidy, as the “less is more approach” tends to work best when designing a store window display.
Don't underestimate the importance of using bold colors in your window display. It's no secret that red and black, when used together, creates a highly visible combination that draws shoppers in. According to an infographic published at KISSMetrics, red is also associated with buying and excitement, adding further benefit to its use.
You don't have to limit your window displays to strictly red, though. Feel free to experiment with other bold colors to see what works and what doesn't. If a particular color isn't generating the same level of shopper response for which you hoped, change it to something else. Through trial and error, you'll eventually find the perfect color combination for you store's window display.
Photo Courtesy of MIT-Libraries via Flickr Creative Commons.
- George Blitzer