How to create window displays that convert passersby into buyers

Window displays are crucial in making a passerby decide whether they want to enter your store or not! We tell you how to create a stand-out window display for a small store and a big store.

Small window

Just because you have less space it doesn’t mean you have less opportunity, as sometimes less is more. You must ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the main attraction in the window?
  2. Where will their eyes be drawn to first?
  3. What props will you use that will make the customer stop and look?
  4. What will make the customer come into the store?

You need to find a product in your shop which is eye-catching and has the power to take centre stage in your window display. See the image below, where the dress is so eye-catching there doesn’t really need to be anything else in the window. Your eyes are drawn to the large orange skirt, which will make the passerby stop to look.

However, what happens if your showstopper is not quite so big and is more like a piece of jewellery? You will need extra props which are big and can initially catch people’s attention, to then draw their eyes to the show-stopping product.

If you look at the image above, the bottle of perfume alone is not going to draw the shopper’s attention. However, the large picture of the celebrity endorser will.

  • You must make sure that your main product is near to eye level
  • Always make sure passersby can see into your store. People like seeing other people and if they can’t see into your shop then it will put them off entering.
  • Ensure you have a consistent colour theme, as too many colours will be overwhelming and off-putting (The picture above has a colour theme of black, white, and peach).
  • Your props should complement the product but not steal the limelight (note the celebrity is wearing neutral colours to avoid stealing the show).
  • Keep it simple, too many items will just begin to look like clutter!

Big Store

When you have a larger window you can become more creative. It is best to think of a theme for your window but the theme should tell a story. For example:

“Holiday in Florida” rather than “Summer”

“Taking mum to afternoon tea” rather than “Mothers Day”

“Adams Family” rather than “Halloween”

  • Before you start, sketch out your idea and ask someone if they understand it. If they don’t get the story or you have to explain it to them, then start again. Passersby have incredibly short attention spans, they are not going to stand and figure out your window display. It needs to be bold and clear!
  • As mentioned above, you still need to have a single point in your display where your customers are going to look. This should be at eye level and for bigger window displays your focal point should be able to catch people’s attention from far across the street. You can then place props around this point.
  • Even though you are creating more of a story in your window display, you still need to keep it simple. You must be able to explain why each item in your window display was included; this is to make sure no unnecessary products are there, which can make it look too busy.
  • You can also get away with using backdrops in a big window display, as passersby can see people in your store through the large doorways. This means you are not obstructing their view of your customers.

If in doubt here are the things you should avoid

  • Not having a story
  • Not having a colour theme
  • Having too much merchandise in the window
  • Not placing key products at eye level
  • Having unnecessary products
  • Having everything spread out without a focal point
  • Having a display that people don’t understand or can’t explain back to you

Keep it consistent

  • Oplift can ensure that your displays are always kept up to standard. Our checklist feature means staff can accurately check tasks needed to complete the displays and raise issues to head office automatically if any tasks can’t be completed. Virgin Media reduced the time it took to do their checklists by 80%!
  • When reviewing display window standards, Oplift Review allows for efficient reporting. Users can quickly snap photos of window displays for reference and then add notes for extra information, which are all sent straight to head office. They can set actions for anything that needs attention and assign them to certain members of staff.

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 3rd July 2018