Dressing a Shop Window: The Strategy to Attracting New Shoppers

When the huge red SALE banners come down what will your retail business do next? Now is the time to start thinking about promoting your new season stock and attracting the new season shopper. Just like running a fashion show a shop window is vital to brand success.

Shop windows are your first and last chance to attract a customer into your doors and showcasing the right products and sending the right message is vital to catch the attention of potential customers. Here are some tips on visual merchandising and how you can create a top window display which will convert into footfall.

1. Work Out Your Message

A disjointed shop window is jarring on the shopper’s eyes and will be distracting rather than appealing. Your ultimate goal with visual merchandising is to sell an idea, that idea could be seasonal i.e. Valentine’s Day or Easter. Having a strong theme for a season that is color coordinated to match the event will promote a more cohesive display in the window.

2. Think About The Whole Space

Eye level visuals are very important, but consider the rest of the space. Keep important products and props at eye-level, but add interest across the whole window to capture attention. Make sure to take into consideration the fact that eye level outside the shop is different to that inside – mark on the window if necessary.

3. Stick To Key Design Principles

There are some basic rules that you should stick to if you’re not confident in your abilities to begin with. You should consider color, lines, form, size and space. Think about the proportion and harmony of each item and the balance overall. Get a second opinion as you go and don’t underestimate the power of lighting – even at night you can entice customers to come back the next day.

4. Consider The Rest Of The Street

To stand out from the rest of the visual competition, you need to work out what will be surprising to the passerby. If every other shop window is busy and cluttered and bright, be more prominent by keeping things simple. Create signage on the pavement outside leading to your shop window that way if people are looking down whilst on a smartphone they will see your brand name and follow the path to you.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Go Big

If you have a great idea find inspiration for something a little left of center don’t be afraid to try it out. If you want to send a message out in text form, with fewer products or props on display, go for it. However, a big bold poster in your window telling people about new season stock could be effective in tempting customers in to see what’s on offer.

 6. Pick Out Key Pieces To Display

You probably have an idea of the new products you have on offer which will attract the most interest so get the public involved and get them to vote the best fashion through interactive engagement; you on one side of the window and them on the other side voting. Remember, changing the products on display on a regular basis whilst retaining the rest of the display is the quickest and easiest way of adding variation without incurring extra cost or hassle.

7. Other Vital Elements

You need to work out if your target customer is the audience type to want prices displayed on products on display. If you have a reduction in price that will attract attention, then make the most of it. Your shop window is your free advertising platform, so you can use it to create messaging such as promotions, endorsements or loyalty schemes that set you apart from competitors.

8. Keep Updating All Year Through

Do not just stick to the seasonal changes and typical holidays and festivity themes. Ideally, six well thought through themes in a year will add interest to your window. If you can do more themes, then that’s all the better. You can even do the same themes each year, but it’s variation and clever twists that keep people coming back.

Contributed by Hannah Connor, a product strategist who works on the Next Voucher cloud discount product team online. She has experience in developing marketing strategies for brand awareness and is here today to offer her tips. 


  • Joi Stepney
    January 29, 2014

    Besides the typical holiday themes, is there a place to find ideas for creative window displays? Somewhere to look for inspiration.

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