The window dressing is an activity essential to attract the attention of potential customers: more than 50% of consumers change their buying choices and their spending capacity in reference to the goods in the store.
The data gathered from the recent analysis carried out by the American NRMA Association (National Retailers Merchant Association) highlight the essential importance that the window dressing activity assumes within the marketing and communication strategy of a sales point: the showcase does not exclusively constitute the business card of a shop, but it represents an indispensable tool to attract the attention of the potential customer and favor the purchasing process.
To set up an attractive and convincing showcase it is necessary to know some simple fundamentals of Visual merchandising, the discipline that makes it possible to arrange products for sale in an attractive way, paying particular attention to the setting and the layout of the store.
Generally, visual merchandising studies highlight the importance of stimulating the senses of the customer within the purchasing decision-making process: a showcase with carefully arranged products is able to create an emotional visual path and to attract the attention of potentials in particular consumers.
A further fundamental factor in the purchasing decision process is determined by time: customers are looking for simple and fast experiences, they appreciate everything that is easily understandable and they love clear and effective communications. A well-equipped showcase, just like the interior of the store, aims to visually communicate an immediate and simple offer to facilitate the customer in their “shopping experience“.
Window dressing: 10 suggestions to create an eye-catching showcase
Here are 10 useful tips to set up a winning showcase and improve the performance of your store …
1) Define the target of your customers
To set up a winning showcase and develop effective visual merchandising strategies, it is essential to define and analyze your target audience: knowing the habits of potential customers, their lifestyle and their availability of expenditure is essential to achieve success with your point of sale. In order to understand the buying habits of their consumers it is of fundamental importance to establish with them a stable relationship based on trust and reliability: promoting social surveys or asking for opinions within the store can be useful activities to create affinity with one’s own customers and consequently to identify the best Visual merchandising strategies for your store.
2) Don’t expose too many products: few, but good
A particularly common mistake in window dressing is the display of an excessive quantity of products: the showcase is not a tool designed to contain the entire inventory, but rather must be the most effective advertising medium of the point of sale, exposing only the products of better quality. Empty spaces are necessary: they must be set up following a specific mental order in order to enhance each product displayed.
3) Follow the “rule of 3”
Arranging one’s products in a carefully planned manner is an essential activity to attract the attention of potential consumers: the human mind, in the presence of unclear and symmetrically inconsistent images, shows a particular inclination towards inattention and distraction. The experts of Visual merchandising propose an effective solution to design showcases capable of maintaining high consumer concentration, the “rule of 3”: positioning your products according to symmetrical patterns divided into 3 parts is a valid strategy to keep the mind active of the customer and create eye-catching showcases.
4) Create a theme and tell a story
A showcase with the aim of striking potential customers must necessarily be coherent, unique and original: defining a theme or a background for the shop window is an indispensable activity to give exclusivity and authenticity to one’s brand. The exhibited products must not be positioned without logic, but must be able to tell a story, to excite the potential customer and thus convince him to visit the store. The scenarios most commonly used for window dressing are without festivity: Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Easter are perfect mainstream themes for any type of store; however, a truly original activity must be able to communicate an authentic and creative image of its brand by identifying a new set for each month of the year.
5) Study the ideal distribution for the products
After selecting the winning products within the inventory, it is essential to identify the correct arrangement within the showcase: some Visual merchandising studies analyze the position of the “focal point” inside the showcase, in other words they identify a space that is displayed unconsciously before the others. Considering that the focal point of each showcase is in the central part at a height of about 1.5 meters, it is necessary to place one’s best seller in this precise position in order to attract the attention of potential customers exclusively on this product. The choice of the layout of the products on display is an indispensable activity for success: it is recommended to give particular emphasis to news, best sellers and products more in line with the brand identity.
6) Use colors to get attention
The window dressing activity cannot ignore the importance of colors: in fact, color has always been an element capable of striking and easily attracting attention. Using bright, bright and fun colors is an essential activity to create successful showcases: the combination of similar tones is able to communicate a sense of balance and tranquility, the combination of two complementary colors is instead the ideal solution to create contrast and focus on a specific point. A variant of fundamental importance is the color of the showcase background: the shades of the products on display and the accessories used to attract attention must be able to create effective and original color combinations with the nuances of the background.
7) Always display prices
Communicating the price of one’s goods in the showcase is an indispensable activity: the cost of a product is, in fact, a predominant factor in the consumer purchasing process. The price of each product featured in the window must be displayed in a clear and intuitive way: positioning a quality price holder that can inform the buyer immediately and simply could prove to be a winning activity. Particularly discounted prices and very advantageous offers must be highlighted in the window to attract the customer’s attention.
8) It often renews the window display
Periodically changing the layout of your showcase is a particularly efficient activity: the constant modification of the display of the goods could arouse interest and curiosity in potential customers and lead them therefore to the point of sale. It is recommended to change the “look” of your showcase every 3-4 weeks to always be original and innovative: the variation of the layout of the products on display will not be useful exclusively to attract new customers, but will prove to be an indispensable tool to communicate an image updated and creative of its own brand.
9) Inform passers-by: communicate information, services and promotions
Even the activity of window dressing inevitably reflects the technological revolution: consumers 4.0 love to find out about each other by searching online for characteristics and information relating to the products purchased. An ingenious initiative to attract the attention of customers could involve the creation of QR codes for showcasing: with a smartphone that can read the code, in fact, the buyer can reach the webpage of the store where conveniently purchase the goods online and find all the detailed information regarding the products on display.
10) Create a recognizable atmosphere
The showcase is the business card of every store and, as such, it must reproduce the characteristics that distinguish the store: the lighting, the colors, the backgrounds and the types of set-up proposed in the shop window must be able to best represent the identity of the store and the brand. Consistency between showcase and store is a fundamental factor in the consumer purchasing process: logic and simplicity are features appreciated by customers who cannot miss inside and outside the store.