Autumn is a beautiful season and the perfect inspiration for creative shop windows.
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Every retail store owner knows that their window display is their message to the world. Enduring and highly effective, it is one of many marketing tools that a retailer can rely on. But some retailers find keeping on top of window displays hard. Ideally, a window display should be changed up every two weeks, or at least once a month.
This autumn, use your window displays to drive your sales. Let’s take a look at our ten top tips to help you create great shop window displays through the fall.
1) Get Seasonal!
Of course, the big idea behind an autumn display is to play on the season. It is a time of year famous for being full of reds, oranges and browns, with plenty of focus on Halloween and pumpkins! But getting seasonal is different to overplaying a theme. Themes are an important tool, but they should not be overstated.
For example, it is common for many stores to overuse props and displays. Unfortunately, by using too many props, retailers can draw attention away from the main event: the merchandise. So get seasonal, but tread carefully.
Here’s one of the most obvious window display props for autumn — and one of the simplest to integrate into a display. There are many different ways you could incorporate them. Vinyls and garlands are among the most common and effective options. Both can help to frame the window display, and they are clean and tidy ways to add an autumnal touch to a display.
In the autumn, a lot of attention is drawn to the trees. Their dramatic colour change and stark contrast to all the winter greenery attracts a lot of attention. Using leaves will help you harness this in your displays, and what better tool to complement those leaves than wood? The beauty of wood is that it needn’t be an exact match, either.
So if you have other fixtures that you would like to use in your window, you needn’t worry about the wood colour. Limed and white barked wood can be particularly attractive in window displays, as they complement what is around them without being too bold.
Autumn leaves and wood are good accessories for displays
4) Use Colour Wisely
Autumnal colours are ideal for drawing in attention easily, and they are colours that induce feelings of excitement. However, there are additional considerations. For example, as the traditional autumnal leaf colours are quite strong, care should be taken with the background colour and the distribution of the strong colours. Too many colours may give window browsers too many things to look at.
This can be a delicate balance, so consider whether your merchandise still stands out, and whether the display is attention-grabbing without being overwhelming.
5) Three-Layer Rule
The three-layer rule is an excellent way for retailers to give depth to their displays. The first layer is the window on which vinyls could be used. This initial layer of depth also allows retailers to add touches of colour easily. The second layer is the main event, which should involve your products.
For example, mannequins in autumnal clothing for a fashion chain, or perhaps some gutter clearing equipment for a hardware store.
The final layer is the backdrop, which will be the shop itself for some stores. But, for those who have the luxury of a boarded window, this could be a plain bold colour, or if you are feeling adventurous, perhaps a plain black to offset the bright autumnal colours and to allude to Halloween.
If you go with black or another dark colour, ensure that your lighting highlights your products well. Nobody wants a poorly lit display!
6) Keep Changing It Up
Shoppers very quickly get used to a display, particularly if they are regular visitors to the high street. A window display should be moved around at least once a month to keep customers interested. It also helps demonstrate to shoppers that the store’s range changes regularly, so they won’t be viewing the same items from a few weeks ago.
Even if it is the same stock, by moving things around in-store as well as in the window display, customers notice new items that may have passed them by first time around.
For this reason, it is important to create a window display plan. This will allow you to track which props you can reuse and ensure you change your displays regularly. Working in retail is busy and it can feel like displays are being changed more regularly that they really are.
Cole Hardware in San Francisco takes a spin on the witch-on-a-broomstick theme with this Halloween window display. Photo by Noelle Nicks
Do not feel constrained by what retailers usually do with their displays. One of the best things you can do for your window display is something different. If you are not feeling particularly creative, do not let it pressure you. Sometimes, a creative idea can actually be very simple, and it’ll come to you when you least expect it. In the meantime, you might like to visit Pinterest, which is full of great images to give you ideas.
8) Think About Where Eye Level Is
This is an important one for all window displays. Eye level is important because it is where the majority of attention will be focused. Some retailers forget that when customers are looking in, they are often lower than the window display, meaning they are often set a little higher than the viewer’s eye level.
9) Keep It Clean
There is a difference between shabby chic and plain shabby. It’s always important to make sure your window displays are clean, but it can be particularly important when it comes to displays that include things like wood and leaves. Be sure to regularly dust and ensure that there aren’t any sneaky spiders setting up shop and detracting from yours!
Think about the types of products you sell. The more premium the item, the more space you should give it. If you are selling lots of goods at low prices, less space can be more beneficial, particularly when combined with a well-stocked display.
This automatically informs a customer that they will be able to purchase plenty of that product at a bargain price. By getting this right in your window display from the outset, you can set the expectation for your customers before they have even come inside.
Cole Hardware in San Francisco takes a spin on the witch-on-a-broomstick theme with this Halloween window display. Photo by Noelle Nicks.