Spring is upon us. Shoppers are emerging from their homes and venturing onto Main Street in search of fresh air, and of course, some fresh retail finds. There’s no time like the present to do some spring-cleaning on your window displays. An appealing storefront is critical for catching the eye of passers-by. And, once you have your dazzling display, it’s important to change it up every 4-6 weeks so that it continues to draw attention.
Follow these five steps to create an effective, visually impacting window presentation:
1. Pick a Theme & Get Specific
First, determine what story or message you want to convey. The more specific you can get with the message or theme, the easier it will be to fill in the blanks. For example, instead of a “spring” theme, you could do an easter egg hunt, a beachy spring break, or an environmental appreciation theme for Earth Day. If there is a specific product or line you are looking to showcase, it is possible to build a story around that, too. You will want to figure out what you are saying, and what merchandise will convey that message.
2. Determine Street Eye Level
Next, determine where the eye level of an average passerby falls on the window. This could be different than your eye level from inside the store if your store is slightly higher than the sidewalk, or if there are steps down into your store and the road outside is slightly higher than your store floor. Whatever the case may be, figure out what the eye level is for your target viewers by going outside, looking at your window from where your potential customers would see it, and then mark with some tape where that visual plane is. You will want to keep this new base level in mind going forward.
3. Choose a Color Palette
If you already have your theme chosen and products in mind, this step should be easy. If there are specific colors in your store’s logo that are used throughout the store, you may want to have that be your focal color to help build brand identity and consistency. Otherwise, there are a few different strategies for choosing the best colors for your display.
- For Stores on Busy Roads – Choose Bold Colors.
If the shoppers you are trying to reach are going to be driving by instead of walking, use bold colors and bigger objects so they are viewable even in moving vehicles, almost like a billboard.
- For Foot Traffic – Choose Soft Colors.
If most of your passersby are foot-traffic, you can opt for milder colors. Working with window displays designed for foot traffic offers retailers more flexibility in choosing colors and objects to feature. So, retailers can dive deeper into choosing colors strategically based on psychology.
Blue creates a sense of trust, calm, and intelligence. Orange ignites a sense of vitality, enthusiasm, and creativity. Red embodies warmth, passion, and energy. Yellow creates excitement and joy. Purple elicits luxury, sophistication, and royalty. Warmers colors such as red, yellow, and orange are stimulating and play to our emotions. Cool colors such as blue, purple, and green are soothing and play to customer’s intellects.
4. Create Depth & Dynamic Lighting
Once you have your message, your products, and your color scheme, we want to set them up in a visually dynamic way. Creating visual interest will help keep the customer’s eyes moving around your display and hold their attention. If you are not sure where to start, the rule of three is a good staple to fall back on in window display design and in-store merchandising. Grouping items in threes, especially at various heights, creates visual movement because there is no stagnant point for the viewer’s eyes to rest.
Displays that are symmetrical and balanced allow the customer to visually digest the image as a whole. Displays that are asymmetrical, or abnormal, force the customer to look at each individual item in order to fully take in the display. Items grouped in threes are also easier to recall, which is why large number, and numbers that need to be memorized, such as social security and phone numbers, are grouped in threes. Use the rule of three as a guide for setting up your display, so viewers are likely to spend more time looking at each aspect, and more likely to remember the individual items.
A dynamic, appealing display can make a big difference in drawing new attention and customers into your store. However, for this to happen the window has to be seen. It seems simple, but proper lighting is often overlooked. Depending on your setup, it’s important that the display lighting and regular store lighting are separated enough to stand out from each other. If you can’t make the lighting pop, simple backdrops are an easy solution for separating the window display from the store.
Track lighting is a simple yet effective option. It may also be worthwhile to invest in a spotlight or two that you can use to showcase specific products. Habit may be to turn the lights off at closing, but depending on the traffic by your store leaving the track and or spot lighting on overnight could help draw extra attention. If no other stores around you are drawing attention to their windows at night, all the more attention your store will be getting. Likewise, if other stores do have nighttime display lighting, you don’t want to be left out.
Above all else; when crafting your window display remember that less is more. It is easy to want to showcase all of your products at once, but this will only overwhelm, and likely turn away the onlookers. Pick a few products, a few design elements, a simple color scheme, and stick to it. Fewer products mean more attention to each item, which will ultimately be more effective in persuading potential buyers. Plus, featuring just a few products at a time means it’s easier to switch up your design to showcase different products. Changing up your display at least every 4-6 weeks gives you plenty of opportunity to showcase different timely items.