I often find myself judging storefronts and (sometimes) secretly wanting to run inside and start switching it around. I would do it if I didn’t know I would be crossing lines of sorts… To be honest, I have sent emails to stores in the past- offering some assistance and even free tips to how they can improve street traffic and be more visually appealing. The importance of your window dressing seems to be thrown to the wind for some small business owners. Their philosophy seems to fall under “the more I show the more customers will come”. Little do they know, their window display says “Who cares about unity/theme” or “I haven’t switched my window in a year- so what?”
I am here to tell you that you are missing the mark if you are taking your storefront space for granted. Consider it a street billboard! Your storefront needs to have what it takes to catch/grab attention then reel ‘em in. Now what you showcase varies obviously on what your store is selling- I can’t pick and choose pieces for you to feature. I can however tell you that less is more, themes are appealing to the eye, colour blocking and colour harmony work wonders and that you shouldn’t be afraid of signage. Not TOO much signage (again less is more) but you can create a visual story in your window and sometimes text can help drive it home. If you are having a great sale? Let people know about it!
Keep the product you are showcasing seasonally appropriate and on trend. Make sure that you play on annual holidays (you know they are coming and you can plan around them- Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, Christmas), I recommend switching your store front up every three months. When seasons change- so do you. Why? Because humans have something called a memory- and if you always look the same? They will remember that and no longer pay attention to your window.
Don’t be afraid to use props! Use your imagination! It doesn’t have to cost thousands- bring in branches, tissue balls, vases- whatever! As long as what you use isn’t branded or showcased as the “star” of your window (you don’t want people coming in to buy it if you don’t sell it) then go for it! Use pinterest for inspiration if you need to.
Now I want to drive home the whole “Less is more” I touched on earlier. A lot of people seem to think if they put ‘one of everything’ in the window then customers will see what they have and come in… Looking outside-in will save customers time because they will KNOW you carry it… Right? Wrong. You actually scare them away. There is too much to take in and you lose their interest quickly. They don’t have the attention span to scan every nook and cranny of your display. You come across as unorganized and not a lot of people care to shimmy through clutter. It is your job to merchandise in such a way that you entice people to enter through your door to see what your store is all about. Create curiosity.
By merchandising your storefront window- you show that you care how you are perceived. That you are proud of what you carry and that you are constantly looking to improve and updating your inventory accordingly. You will notice an increase of off-street customers, compliments and I believe a heightened sense of pride.
Anyone else have any merchandising tips they’d like to share? Please do!
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