Retail store window display

With Christmas right around the corner, there will be a slew of last minute gift buyers hitting the stores this weekend. Knowing a few tips for window displays can help bring attention to your business and push some of your best merchandise into the hands of harried shoppers.

Why put the extra effort into a window display? According to AdWeek magazine, Lord & Taylor estimates that more than 500,000 people will pass by its New York City store each day and Macy’s estimates that 15,000 people walk by their store each hour during the holiday season. That’s up from 10,000 per hour at other times of the year.

Presumably, many of these shoppers can be enticed to come into the store and make an impulse purchase. What’s the best way to entice them? A creative window display is certainly one.

Moreover, the window display is a marketing method that costs far less than purchasing an advertisement. After all, the window is included in your rent so you may as well take advantage.

Here are a few tips for how to use window displays to capture attention and (hopefully) induce some impulse buying:

Create a theme
Instead of randomly displaying a mish mash of products, visual designers have found that creating a theme can help hold the viewers’ attention longer. It’s more intriguing to see everything in the display as being part of a larger picture than individual pieces that are not connected.

A natural theme for this time of year is Christmas but that idea can be refined to focus on a certain aspect of the holiday, such as family time or snowy weather.

The theme should tell a small story while using colors, props and, of course, your merchandise to build on the concept.

Use color to set a mood
After the theme, color may be one of the most important choices for your display. Research has demonstrated that color can influence emotions. Fast food restaurants have long been known to use color to stimulate purchases of food.

So, what color to use for a window display? It depends on what you want to evoke with your scene. According to the Pantone Guide to Communicating With Color by Leatrice Eiseman, cultural backgrounds and traditions will shape one’s reaction to color but there are some general rules that seem to be generalities.

The color red nearly always provokes attention. Pink can been seen as energetic and youthful while orange can be seen as playful, gregarious, happy and childlike. Yellow emulates sunshine, light and warmth. Brown is often seen as ‘down to Earth’ and durable. Blue is strongly associated with the sky and the ocean and, therefore, it evokes reliability, dependability and trustworthiness. Similarly, green elicits pleasant responses while purple can be seen as regal or contemplative.

Use the Rule of 3
Science tells us that humans view symmetry as calming and normal. On the other hand, asymmetry draws the human eye because it’s unbalanced and, in many cases, more interesting to view.

Many retailers have used this psychological tidbit by implementing the Rule of 3 in their store displays. What this means practically is grouping products in sets of three.

The Rule of 3 can be especially effective if you can use it to display three different price variations of a product. In other words, display a product with a baseline version, a better version and the best version. This will allow price conscious shoppers to quickly gauge their options of what’s available from your store.

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