Consider windows – what is their purpose?
They simply let light into a room. You no doubt artificially light your shop already, so putting your windows to work attracting and enticing more people inside is the next step. We discussed visual merchandising recently, but at this time of the year, it can’t hurt to touch on it again.
Tis the season of fierce competition.
A shop window must catch the attention of the stressed, time-strapped and possibly exhausted shopper. A truly successful shop window will act in the same way as a candy shop on a kid. It will surprise, delight, lure. It’s a public artwork, created by you for your customers to appreciate.
Walk down the street and you’ll see three varieties of shop window, each unconsciously telling every passerby what they stand for, what they value, and who their customers are.
There are the windows we could consider as end caps, or extra storage.
Sometimes it’s doubtful if the shops consider their windows at all. You’ve seen them – the ones full of packing boxes, or elderly mannequins, possibly half-dressed and limbless. Often these windows aren’t lit. The people they attract (If they exist) are people who don’t care at all about what they are buying. More likely these shops are serving an ever-dwindling existing base of people who were customers in the shop’s glory days, (under a previous owner who was better at presentation) and have continued to visit because they haven’t thought of going anywhere else. These are shops with no imagination, serving customers with no imagination. Don’t be one of them.
There is a second window-type, which encompass the vast majority of shop windows. The sad truth about these windows is that they are often the product of some time and effort, just not enough.
They are often lit up, sometimes neat and tidy, sometimes minimally decorated, sometimes overfull, but always mediocre. They tick the boxes and nothing more. They are the windows that people walk past, glance at, and forget entirely. You’ll note I say walk past. These windows don’t work hard enough. The only people they are impacting were probably going there anyway, or had been looking for a white shirt (or whatever) just like the one on the mannequin. You can do better than this.
The third sort of shop window is the one we want yours to be: Astonishing and memorable.
They nail it. You know, because the wonder and delight in the window is reflected on the onlookers faces.
So how do you get that je ne sais quoi in your window?
Plan it first.
Focus on transporting the viewer to someplace else.
Make it surreal – items juxtaposed in unlikely surroundings, oversized props, things you wouldn’t expect in the shop.
Showcase your top shelf products. You will capture viewers’ imagination – they may not be able to afford it but keeping the focus off price and on the way the viewer feels is the secret to success.
Be different. It’s harder than it sounds. Do something with your window that is out of the ordinary, a step out of beat. You’ll jolt passersby out of their comfort zone so they actually interact with your shop. And that’s what you want.
Oh and change it often!