Brick-and-mortar retailers took a major hit in 2020. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, most consumers took to the internet for their shopping needs. But one can argue that even before the pandemic hit, physical stores had already been fighting a losing war with e-commerce players like Amazon.
Physical retail stores will have to fight a fierce battle against a flailing economy and e-commerce giants if they want to survive. One of the longstanding ways to do this has always been through the trusty retail window display.
The goal of a store’s window display is to drive foot traffic and to get customers to enter the store. It is also your store and brand’s way of making a first impression. To say that visual merchandising is essential is an understatement.
Here are some pointers for creating window displays that highlight the best of your business.
Consider your target market.
What kind of customers are you targeting? What interests them, and what are their values and priorities? Make sure that you have a thorough understanding of your demographic so that you know what kind of looks will catch their eye.
Tell a story.
First of all, you need to come up with a concept or a coherent theme for your window display. Consider the products or goods you’re selling and think of themes and stories you think are worth telling alongside them.
Here are some questions to consider before you get started:
- What’s the current season?
- How can I make the display relevant to the times?
- What feelings do you want your window display to evoke?
- What story do you want to tell?
Another way to set your window display apart is by taking a common theme and adding a new twist to it. For example, instead of “Valentine’s Day,” use “Romeo and Juliet.” Think of concepts that have not been run into the ground.
Abide by basic design rules.
There’s a reason why rules exist in interior design. Without rules, people lack restraint. Some basic design rules that you can adhere to when creating a window display are as follows:
- Make a sketch. Just like designing a room or any space, you first need to map out your window display so that you have a guide to follow and that you can edit before you start setting up.
- Choose one hero. Every space needs one centerpiece. Choose one focal point and let all the other design elements work around it. It can be a unique piece of furniture, a set-piece, or a huge 4D artwork. The point is to choose one eye-catching highlight—too many design elements can end up making your window display look cluttered.
- Fake the illusion of space. Use colors, lighting, furniture, and other design elements to create the illusion of a higher ceiling or a wider area. Mix different heights and paint the backdrop and floor the same color to make your window display look bigger.
- Look at the big picture. Often when we try to design a space, we’re too focused on the details. Taking a step back can help us see better because viewing the area from a distance makes it easier for us to see what can be improved on, what needs to be removed or added, and what needs to be filled or turned into negative space.
Designing a wall display is a lot like designing a room, so adhere to the basic rules of interior design and see how it improves your aesthetic sense.
Don’t be afraid to be bold.
Your window display will most likely have to compete with multiple window displays in commercially constructed buildings in your area. You need to find ways to catch the eye of consumers to the point that they would be compelled to walk into your store.
Minimalist window displays are a dime a dozen. Take a walk through your local shopping mall and see how similar most window displays are—neutral color palette, three to four mannequins, bland overall look. Stand out from the rest by playing with bold designs, shapes, colors, and textures. Make your window display stand out from the rest by making it Instagram-worthy or surprising. Go with outrageous concepts or themes that have not been done before.
Keep it spotless.
Nothing kills a window display more than visible dust and soot. Make a habit of cleaning and organizing your window display regularly, especially if there are display elements that can be easily knocked off.
Where Art and Merchandising Meet
From conceptualization to setting up, designing a window display takes so much creativity and resourcefulness. So roll up your sleeves and get to dreaming! Your brick-and-mortar store will thank you for it.