Creating an attractive and successful shop window display may seem like a daunting prospect that belongs in the hands of a professional designer. Whether you are a small shop or part of a larger chain your shop window is going to have to compete for attention amongst others on the street. Sometimes shop owners and managers believe that unless they have a professional designer they cannot create an eye-catching customer-winning display and so do not make much effort. Others want to be uniform with other stores in their chain or who sell similar items and therefore do not attempt anything out of the ordinary. But there are some simple techniques and strategies that can help produce a winning shop window display.
1. Get the right perspective
Clearly the right perspective for any display is that of the potential customer. Remember that most potential customers will first see your display from an angle that is not directly in front of it. Consider your display from the perspective of your potential customers. Clarify what will be at eye level from the street as this will be the most obvious part of the display before customers start to explore the rest. Items do not have to be contained within the main focal point; they can be hung from the ceiling for example to occupy a number of different spaces both above and below the main area. Large objects or display pieces can also be placed in displays to attract attention from customers who are on the opposite side of the street from your shop.
2. Create a theme and tell a story
Finding a theme can be very easy and also very obvious; for example, at Easter the primary colours are yellow, green and white, and items eggs, chickens, bunnies; for Christmas time it is red and green and elves and presents, and so on and so on. But keeping going beyond just a traditional theme and creating a story around it will allow more diversity in the display. For example, by all means have a Christmas tree and presents, but have a different item in or on each package to display a range of goods. Traditional colours and objects can be used but in ways that effectively draw attention to goods.
3. Be creative and bold
People are much busier than before and the media constantly bombard us with fresh images to surprise us and catch our attention. To grab a potential customer’s attention and hold it long enough to make them want to enter the shop a display has to stand out and for this reason being bold and avoiding the obvious help. Use bold colours to set off products; they may even be colourful enough to arrange in unusual patterns. Tissue paper can make large displays of flowers that are colourful and eye catching. Even ‘though a product may be small a large brightly coloured object or prop in a display can draw customers in to see smaller items.
4. The art of surprise
Using props like shapes cut from foam board, thick card or ply and papier-mache figures can also add unconventional and original touches to a display and introduce some surprising features which is not a bad thing if they attract customers’ attention.
5. Keeping it clean and simple
Using large display objects and bright colours does not mean filling a window completely. Keep enough space free so as not to present a bewildering and confused sight. What is left out is as important in a display as what is included. It is not necessary to try to put every item on sale in a display. But using several of a small item for sale – for example gold or tennis balls clustered together rather than as single container of them – can be effective.
6. Use lighting
It is no use creating a terrific window display if potential customers can’t see it properly or if items you are selling don’t stand out. This may seem obvious but lighting is often used incorrectly and it is important to use lighting in the correct way; for example, too much light can make a display seem unattractive and where there are a variety of goods displayed they can all blend into each other and create a cluttered bland look. Lighting can make a product stand out from others and a background, but don’t hang lights immediately above items as this can create shadows that affect other items. Shadows do have their place and can make an item stand out so don’t be afraid to use them when lighting.
Leaving some lighting on after the shop has closed can continue to draw attention to your shop window display long after it has closed.
7. Keep it current
It may be tempting to do so, but once you have a great window display it will need to be regularly updated. Whether it is to keep up with new products for sale or simply to refresh an older display it is important. To keep the window fresh and appealing to old and new potential customers a display should be updated every month or two.