Quick Tips for Store Windows

by Tina Manzer

Choose color(s) wisely

“The unicorn-puked-a-rainbow-in-the-display approach will get the job done quickly, but it will turn customers away just as fast,” says a blog post on Mannequin Mall. “Using too many colors looks unprofessional and chaotic.”

Even more important, specific colors affect different people in different ways. If you want to find out how, Mannequin Mall recommends the article “Color Psychology in Marketing” on the blog of CoSchedule (coschedule.com/blog/color-psychology-marketing/). For instance, men dislike brown the most while women dislike orange the most. What’s more, “orange and yellow grow increasingly disliked as both genders get older.”

It also says that green, an iconic Christmas color, conveys balance and harmony. “It communicates a clearer sense of right from wrong since green incorporates a balance of both the logical and emotional.”

Less is more

It’s a mistake to fill up every last bit of space with merchandise, says German design guru Norbert Grüger. White space helps guide the eye and makes sure it “lands” on designated objects.

Create balance in the view of your window by making sure props, mannequins and products are not placed too close to each other. Position a person outside so as to direct the placement of the window’s components. What does the window look like from across the street? As he’s walking by? Standing right out front?

Don’t position a product too close to the glass, warns Mannequin Mall. “It creates an annoying perspective, and pushes viewers away instead of reeling them in.”

Tall/short, foreground/background

Arrange items vertically at different elevations – up high, on the floor, floating in the middle. By the same token, use more than one horizontal plane. Think “layers.” “The shop window is the only advertising medium that can have a three-dimensional effect. Work toward achieving it no matter what!” says Grüger.

Yes, it’s an ad

Like Grüger says, a shop window is a creative advertisement for your business. As such, it should be considered more as a long-term effort, and less as a short-term, sales-increasing opportunity.

Window displays should represent the values of your brand, highlight your personality, and set you apart. “With the uniform window displays adopted by chain stores, you have to think very hard to remember which town you are in at the moment,” he says.

Create the Shopper Moment

“‘How Much is That Doggie in the Window?’ is the title of an old song, and a question that one seeking a puppy should no longer ask because it’s not cool to purchase canines that are displayed in windows,” points out Bradley Daves, on his blog at Medallion Retail. “Things change. Contexts shift. Belief systems expand. Meanings evolve.”

He explains that retail marketers who consider windows just a peek into the store are missing the boat. “They can’t see beyond the old-school literal point of view, and are unable (or unwilling) to re-imagine how ‘what used to be’ can become a shining Moment.”

The “Moment” is a notion that a store is an emotionally interactive environment. If exploited, that environment can delight shoppers in new ways and turn them into loyal customers. Moments also help generate sales and create positive word of mouth, and Daves’ posts are full of ideas for creating them. In one he listed “42 things a store window can be.” Here they are.

• a mirror

• a time machine

• a portal

• an invitation

• a work of art

• a siren’s song

• a promise

• a crystal ball

• a sneak preview

• a play in one act

• an affirmation

• a come-on

• a selfie backdrop

• a tease

• an inspiration

• an exploration

• a movie screen

• an escape

• a confirmation

• a clarification

• a poem

• a call-to-action

• a traffic stopper

• a cultural lens

• a microscope

• an aftermath

• a welcome distraction

• a dare

• a come-hither look

• a pop culture happening

• a permission slip

• a love note

• a perspective changer

• an enticement

• a how-to

• a provocation

• a mood elevator

• a shot of courage

• a jolt

• an encouragement

• a welcome mat

• a memory in the making.

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