Photo Credit: Max Pixel/Allen McGregor
The importance of eye-catching window displays in today’s challenging retail environment can’t be over-emphasised. With high street stores facing stiff competition from online shopping, in addition to the uncertainty posed by Brexit, retailers need all the help they can get to survive the current climate.
The retail sector needs to find innovative ways to make window displays more appealing and give them the “wow” factor! While social media campaigns and print advertising have their place, one thing that should always remain in the marketing budget is the window display.
There’s a good reason why a fabulous window display is so important – and that’s because it works! While the retail sector changes over the years, the use of window displays has remained a proven winner. Brands understand the importance of attracting window-shoppers, connecting with potential new customers and keeping loyal followers interested.
If you create an inspirational, high-impact, memorable display that engages the consumer, this will help drive sales. In order to engage at the bricks and mortar retail level, stores must produce displays that showcase not only the brand but also the feeling and lifestyle that are behind it.
It’s a chance to display your unique personality, turning the heads of passers-by, as you compete with brands of all sizes. The best window display should have the power to engage shoppers enough to make them stop, look back and walk into your store.
Before you begin, know your budget – even if you don’t have enough money to hire a professional merchandiser, it’s possible to create a DIY display that’s just as eye-catching, as long as you take the time to do so properly. This means thinking of a theme and researching your design within your budget before you physically do anything.
Know your goal
Decide what the goal of your window display is – is it to promote a new product, a new style for your brand, or to target a different audience? A good way to start when thinking up a design is to start with a simple pen and paper and sketch some ideas, based on a theme.
Your display should tell a basic story, as it’s a fact that storytelling is a successful strategic business tool. Research by Keith Quesenberry and Michael Coolsen, published in The Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice in 2014, focused on brands’ use of various strategies to sell products.
They concluded that regardless of whether advertisers used cute animals or celebrities, plot development was an integral part of advertising. Quesenberry says this is because humans are social creatures who relate to other people. We’ve been communicating through stories for around 20,000 years, since the days of cave walls.
Begin with a theme
With a window display, it helps to begin with a theme, then use storytelling to turn it into something more interesting. Think what makes you different from other retailers (your competitors) and capitalise on this.
When you feel your idea’s ready in the conceptual stage, make sure you have the basic tools you need to get started in physically designing the window display. These should include scissors, tape measure, stapler, hammer and nails, double-sided tape, penknife, screwdriver and screws, glue gun, pencil, pen, marker pen and notepad. Also, you will need non-merchandise items to use as props.
When you’ve completed your rough sketch, start putting it into practice, but don’t forget to step out into the street to see how it looks from the point of view of passers-by. Decide whether you can add elements suspended from the ceiling, how big your central, focal point should be and how big the overall display should be so that it can even grab shoppers’ attention from the other side of the street.
Eye-level focal point
Always keep the focal point at eye level, whether you’re dangling decorative items from the ceiling, stacking them pyramid-style or placing them on pedestals. Remember to make a fast impression – most people glance at a window for only 2.5 seconds before walking by, according to a study in the US by Scott Day, of Urban Development Services. You must grab their attention with an eye-catching display.
Finally, make sure you change your window display regularly. If you’re always busy, changing your window display may not be top of your list of things to do, but it should be!
Commercial Aluminium Shopfronts (CAS) provides glass/glazed shop fronts, architectural entrances, façade design and shopfront design services. We stand for expertise, high quality and value for money, pledging unrivalled customer service and reliable after-sales care.
For window displays that really pack a punch, contact us for further details of our range of products and services.