What to include when creating a retail window display


Retail, particularly bricks-and-mortar, is a highly competitive and complex arena. Encouraging shoppers onto the high street and back into shopping centres is a task in itself. From there, retailers need to work hard and smart, catching shoppers’ attention and enticing them into their store.

How? With a wow window display. According to NPD Group research, window displays influence purchases an average of 24% of the time. Clearly a powerful sales and marketing tool.

But… you have just a few seconds to capture the eye of passing shoppers. How do you make them pause? And crucially, how do you then draw them in-store?

Here, we explore the vital role of retail store windows, with our top tips for a truly standout display.

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What is a retail window display?

A retail window display is your secret weapon for attracting shoppers into your store. So you need to make it count. Big time. A window display is their preview to what they can find inside, a glimpse of what’s behind the door, calling them in.

Why are retail window displays important?

Retail window displays are important because they are your big opportunity to stand out from your competitors. To showcase new products, promote featured items, or to create seasonal standout spaces dressed for Halloween or Christmas.

Retail window displays give brands and retailers the perfect platform to standout and disrupt the shopper journey. You want passerbys to stop, take notice, create intrigue, and enter the store. What you don’t want is shoppers having a quick look and then moving on. Or, worse, not even looking in the first place.

Window displays can form part of a wider campaign, such as TV adverts, social media, billboards, and bus stop posters, helping to drive footfall and bring shoppers in-store.

Want to learn more?? Read our blog post 5 reasons why retail window displays are so important

What to include in a retail window display:

Keep a customer focus

Your window display might be brilliant. But unless it’s aimed at the right audience, you’re wasting your space. Always think of your target shoppers when you’re planning a retail window display. Who are they? What do they like? What messages will they respond well to, or not so well to?

Don’t try to please everybody, either. Keeping your display focused and targeted will draw in shoppers more likely to purchase. Too broad and generic simply dilutes your impact.


Include a theme

Creating a theme or a story in your window display will make your display more attractive. Don’t be afraid to be creative! It’s better to have a theme than randomly placed objects which make no sense.

In fact, displaying products in an unexpected way is a great way to attract shopper attention.


Use eye-catching retail graphics

Retail graphics play an important role in store windows. You can really enhance your display using backdrops and promotional messaging and creating themes and seasonal events.

There are a multitude of ways you can use retail graphics in your window. From vinyl decals applied directly to the glass to printed wallpapers, hanging backdrops, floor graphics and fabric lightboxes through to vinyl-wrapped podiums… it’s a world of window magic.

Point of sale (POS) graphics are one of the most commonly used retail graphics for store windows, playing a big role in driving shoppers in-store. Think things like ‘in store now’ product launches, special offers and special buys.


Get your lighting right

Clever use of lighting can highlight product and features in your display, drawing shoppers’ eyes to where you want them to go.

You can use lamps, spotlights, lightboxes, or pendants to create a particular mood. More lights evoke a bright, uplifting effect, while darker and dramatic lighting makes for a more intense mood.

Top tip: Keep your lighting low or front facing to avoid the shadows and dark spots which high-level lights produce.


Prop up

Props can really elevate your window products, either drawing attention to them or complementing them. They’re a clever device to get your product into the eyeline of passing shoppers, plus they give you the chance to be ultra-creative. After all, you want to disrupt passing shoppers, so always think different and daring.

Top tip: Consider how you can incorporate your brand into props, perhaps using shapes or colours.


Think simplicity

Creative is good. Cluttered is less good. So, while it’s fine to be bold, remember to stay focussed. Once you start planning your window display it’s easy to get carried away and you end up going down a retail display rabbit hole.

Sticking with a clear message and a focussed display is the best way to get your point across.


Stay sustainable

Shoppers want sustainability. In fact, this is such a pivotal point for many that brands and retailers are fast turning to sustainable solutions over traditional display types. Always think as green as possible when planning your retail window display. This helps to make positive steps towards a greener future for retail, at the same time appealing to the demands of today’s shopper.

Try using things like retail graphics made from recycled bottles, reusable podiums and props, or even solar-powered mechanics.

And don’t be afraid to shout about your sustainability. If you’re doing something good for the planet, tell your shoppers. It’ll mean a lot to them.

Interested in learning more about eco-friendly retail graphics? Read our blog post Sustainable Retail Graphics and Displays: The Ultimate Guide


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With so much technology and so many marketing channels now available, it can be easy to forget about the humble retail window. But actually, it’s one of your most powerful sales tools. So don’t forget to show your windows some love.

Talk to the experts about how to create a standout retail window display. Email us on hello@kgkgenix.com or call us on 01920 461244.

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