WINNING WINDOWS: Tips for drawing in business

According to research conducted by Kaunas University, window displays have more impact than any other visual element when it comes to purchases. In fact, reports Visual Merchandising and Store Design (VMSD), 70% of purchases are influenced by displays.

Tip: Complimentary colors–opposites on the color wheel–will exaggerate each other and make product pop.

70% of purchases are influenced by displays

Creating window displays is tough, however, when it’s not the only thing in your job description.

Large chains and most retailers employ the services of a visual merchandiser. If you are like most ECPs, however, this responsibility is on the long list of other things you do every month. To help, we’ve put together tips and strategies from outside merchandisers.



OPPOSITES ATTRACT. Use opposite colors on the wheel (called complimentary colors) when you want to make the most impact. They include blue with orange, red with green, yellow with violet, etc. When you use complimentary colors together, they exaggerate each other. If you create a display of blue frames, for example, a yellow backdrop will really make the product jump.


TIE IT TOGETHER. Use social media to drive your store décor. Nordstrom, for example, started using Pinterest to identify popular products, took the most pinned ones and promoted them in store windows. The point? Bring those products you’ve highlighted on social media into a window display.


KEEP IT SIMPLE. Stay simple and clean–don’t overdo or get prop-heavy. Visual merchandising experts say create what you think is your perfect window display and then take one prop out. That will make it even better.


LIGHTING. Don’t turn window lights off at night. It’s advertising, whether you’re open or not.


ADD LAYERS. Keep the main part of the window display centered, but add layers to create depth.


BUILD A PYRAMID. Professional merchandisers always use a pyramid shape in their displays. And, make sure groupings or products in that pyramid are shown in odd numbers, especially in 3’s. Even numbers won’t draw the eye, but odd numbers will.



Renowned consultant Paco Underhill says your windows should “invite” consumers into your location by telling a story. Here’s how:


QUICK READ. Windows need to be a quick read. That means don’t fill them with product. Instead, create a story.


TARGET SEGMENTS. You don’t have to appeal to everyone each time you change your window display. It’s OK to target a particular group of customers.


SMALL VS. BIG. The classic problem is that what you display is small. So, one of the challenges, if you have windows on the street or a shopping mall, is how you get someone to come look. Solutions include featuring photographic enlargements or enticing passersby with humorous invitations. Tell a story, and use your imagination.


What have you done with your windows, and how do you handle the balance between eyewear that’s small and the very big impression you want to make? Tell us about it and join in the Facebook conversation here.

Erinn Morgan