21 December 2015, 11:35 AM
  • Your windows are your biggest marketing tool. In today’s retail environment, it has never been more important to ensure that you are making a big impact, says Eve Reid of Metamorphosis Group
Retail School: Making the Most of Your Windows

Window dressing is not just about making things look pretty, it’s about attracting attention, reinforcing your brand, setting yourself apart from the competition, promoting your products and telling your story. If used wisely, all of these elements can be an incredible lever that can have an amazing impact on sales.

Your windows provide a fantastic showcase through which to communicate your offer and specialism. It is crucial that you use them to their full advantage to:
• Grab attention
• Inspire potential customers to stop and shop with you
• Encourage them to buy
• Persuade them to return to shop with you time and time again

Think about it…
Have you ever slowed down to look at your reflection in a bank window?
If you are walking along a high street, is it the colourful windows that catch your eye?
If you are in a shop do you tend to walk towards the areas that are better lit?

If you want to catch my attention you have to make a visual impact. If you don’t I will walk right past.
Once you have my attention you need to use it to show me something I need, want or desire… or I won’t shop with you.

When thinking how to use your windows, there are some key considerations to keep in mind:
• Window value
• Size and shape
• Facing the customer
• Using eye-line

Window value
This is an important one, if you are going to invest time and energy into your window displays you need to identify the value that will bring. This means considering the positioning of your windows in relation to the traffic flow (both pedestrians and cars) to gauge their prominence and visibility. You don’t want to invest a lot of time and energy into your windows if they are not going to be seen!

Retailers with a lot of windows within one unit may decide to select their primary windows (i.e. those with the most visibility) as display windows and either keep the others open (through which to see into the store) or use permanent vinyls to obscure the windows and promote key messages.

Size and shape
If your windows are too small they may not stand out, in which case you may also need to consider being
more creative with your facade to draw attention to your windows. If your windows are too big, they can drown the products and can also be costly and time consuming to dress.

Facing the customer
Many people do fantastic displays that face directly outwards. If you have a window that is directly in front of oncoming traffic (either pedestrian, or cars) then this is not a problem, but many window displays are approached from the side, narrowing the customer’s field of vision. In this situation, if you face your displays directly outwards, customers passing would have to stop and turn 90 degrees to see them. Instead, you need to be able to angle key display fixtures or elements within the display slightly so that the customers are able to see them at a 45 degree angle when passing.

Customers only look at a window display for four seconds on average before deciding whether or not it is of interest to them, so when it comes to window displays we need to make them easy for customers passing by to see, and this means ensuring some product presence at eye-line to capture their attention. This is especially important if customers are passing by at a close distance as they will have a narrower field of vision.

“In retail, ‘eye-line is buy-line’ – 64% of in-store UK sales come from eye-line shelves”

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