What you display on the store window can make or unmake your business, which is why it is very important that you carefully design your store window. In most cases, the windows give the customers a sneak peek of what is inside the store.
“Done well, window displays not only increase traffic and sales, but also provide an extremely important image to your store,” says Jennifer Tirazona, a freelance visual designer who has designed retail outlets like Primadonna and the P99 store. “The shop window displays the soul of your store, and if it has good visuals, people will go inside and make a purchase,” she says.
Lito Balbona, senior visual display supervisor of the Bench retail chain, says your window display should highlight your showcase. “We update our window display monthly to feature the new products we want to show our target market,” he says. “It is important to update your display regularly to avoid boring your customers.” New product displays arouse the buyers’ curiosity and encourage them to keep coming back, he says.
Entrepreneur.com.ph asked the Tirazona and Balbona what are the rules in designing a store window, and here are their answers:
• Avoid displaying too many products in your window. It is not necessary to put everything you carry. Pick a product line or theme and run with it. “One common mistake of many retailers is cramming windows with merchandise to maximize display space. This only makes a shop look like a mess,” says Tirazona. Although there are no hard and fast rules about how much to present, remember that less is more.
• Plan your strategy. Decide on the “what” and “how” in advance. “We already have a calendar for visual displays conceptualized for the whole year,” says Balbona. But they prepare every month depending on when they change themes for the windows.
• Follow three simple steps. First, eye level is the key. “Don’t clutter the floor with unnecessary merchandise; customers don’t shop looking at their feet,” says Tirazona. Second, create eye-flow and balance by using colors, shapes and repetition to draw the eye around the display. Third, step back from the display. “Make sure that it is interesting from all sides, not just the front,” says Tirazona.
• Use lighting effectively. Proper lighting is critical to leading your customers through the store. “Direct traffic by aiming spotlights at important areas. This will highlight the merchandise you would want to pitch to customers,” says Balbona.
• Clean your displays regularly. “You can create a wonderful display following all the basic principles, but a little dirt will ruin all your effort,” says Balbona. Dusty props, bits of tape on shelves or windows, and lopsided or torn signs do not convey the right message to the customer.
• Look around you. Check out what other merchants are up to and do it better. “You wouldn’t want to be a copycat. It’s much better that all your designs are original, and that would make your store stand out,” says Tirazona. “Be aware of the latest trends because these will help you plan your display strategy,” says Navato. “In our case, we make it a point to visit overseas shops to be updated,” says Balbona.
This article was originally published in the July 2003 of Entrepreneur Philippines.