As a retail store, your window displays are the most important marketing tool you have at your disposal. They will make someone a passer-by, enter your store and become a customer or ignore you entirely.
Yet many find it hard to harness the creativity needed, as well as the time and the money to invest in them. But, with a little thought, and the right lighting, your window display could become the jewel in your crown.
With the holidays soon upon us, here are eight tips on how to create affordable window displays that will make you stand out from the crowd.
1. Tell a Story .When it comes to the holiday season, you may be tempted to grab every red and green decoration, fairy light and reindeer in sight. But that’s too simplistic.
The first step is to create a theme. Something related to the season, but slightly more sophisticated. For example, a grocery store could use the theme of the Nutcracker. You could interpret this theme both literally and creatively, using traditional toy decorations, and displaying the special range of nuts that you are selling for the season.
Think of displays that play with traditional themes but also showcase your products in a unique way.
2. Think Outside-In, not Inside-Out . Before arranging your display, step outside your door and see what your clients will be looking at. Take some tape with you and mark lines of where your eye first goes to, from immediately outside the store and from across the street.
Sidewalks are often lower than you expect them to be. It may be that the display you originally had in mind is above everyone’s natural eye-line.
At the same time however, you don’t want to keep everything at one level. By causing some visual distractions with items suspended from the ceiling you may entice the prospective client to look back a second time.
3. Use Bold Shapes and Colors. If creativity is not your thing, don’t worry. By injecting bold colours and shapes into your design, you will create an eye-catching display. If your products are small, display them on large colour boards that will draw people in, until they see your products up-close. If your products are big, use the most colourful items and make the display with them.
4. Keep Away the Clutter. Don’t cram a lot of products into one window. Try instead to use large quantities of a single product. This will help create a creative display and stop customers from being distracted by different packaging, colours and brands. A Christmas tree made of gloves, or snowflakes made of sugar cubes, are bound to draw more attention than a loan pair of gloves on a tree or a box of sugar cubes in a display of other goods.
And don’t be afraid of clean space. If your display "pops" enough, that’s all the customer will be looking at.
5. Keep it Clean. A very basic thing that is often forgotten by so many: keep your windows clean! Both inside and out. And make sure there are no heavy layers of dust or dirt collecting on the items displayed.
6. Change Often.It is likely that the traffic that passes in front of your store is fairly consistent. The same people heading to and from work, the same family heading to school during the week, or the retired couple meeting their friends at the local coffee shop. So shake it up. Changing your window will draw attention each time they walk past, and make them more likely to step through the door.
But don’t worry, the updates don’t need to be costly or time-consuming. Simply change a few key items, rather than the entire display. Switch photos used, change the shapes in which products are displayed, or simply swap the items at the back of the display to the front. Rotating a few different things every few weeks will make more people look at your store.
7. Use Lighting. Lighting can really make or break a display. When you light something brilliantly and cast its surroundings in shadow, you force attention onto the lit item in a dramatic and powerful way. Use lighting to highlight the focal points of your display and draw customers in.
And remember, if you're the only place with the lights on during the evening, you will be the store that people look at. But make sure they're LED, to save those long-term lighting costs and, of course, the environment.
8. Create a Spectacle . The big stores use their display windows to create a spectacle that draws people to visit them each-and-every year. Think of Macy’s in New York, Selfridges in London, and even Vancouver's Woodward windows back in the 60s and 70s.
Harness some of this power and create a dynamic window, full of whimsical fantasy, that will keep bringing your customers back for more.