Window displays are a great way to attract walk-in traffic to your business. There’s a reason they call it ‘window shopping,’ after all. Shoppers — like most all prey — are cautious when venturing into new and unknown surroundings. An attractive window display will let them know that the watering hole (your business) is safe.
The opposite is true if your window display sucks. Your potential customers will be leery to even enter the shadow of your doorstep.
If your business doesn’t have windows, I’m sorry. That sucks.
1. It’s Empty
Unless you sell air, your display area should have something in it. Your product. Something that embodies your service. Something that sells what you’re about without needing any words. An empty window is not eye-catching.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should have something in every window, or that every window has to have its own display. But having nothing at all is a mistake that’s all to easy to make.
2. It’s Cluttered
Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and this is a perfect example. Don’t crowd your window display with so much that it becomes a cluttered mess. Piles of product, multiple sale signs, numerous banners, and over the top decorations can kill your window display faster than that empty one we just talked about. At least with that your potential customers could see inside your business form the outside.
And that’s really the key issue with a cluttered window display: you make it impossible for your customer to see your business apart from it’s facade. It almost seems like you have something to hide (and if you do, I probably can’t help you there). Overkill will harm you in this department. No one told you in business school that you had to be an interior designer, but I guess it’s your fault for not taking that Interior Design 101 course as an elective.
3. Sale. Sale! Sale!! SALE!!!
Writing is hard. Most new writers face a big problem in that they think exclamation marks (‘!’ for those of you who have the personality of an iguana) belong at the end of every sentence. Oh, and CAPITAL LETTERS make things sound gooder. Yes, this is why you failed 9th grade english class.
Your signage in your display follows some of the same rules. The difference between ‘SALE’ and ‘SALE!!!’ is huge. One is confident and the other is as desperate as your cousin Brad who’s OkCupid.com profile lists his numerous accomplishments in public speaking and bug collecting. Yeah. That desperate. Exclamation marks mean nothing in the world of marketing. They are worthless. Delete them. Delete them all!!! NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4. Change You Can Believe In
On my parents’ street in my hometown, there was (and maybe still is, I don’t really know) this one house that decorated their yard and front porch for every holiday the way most do for Christmas. And I mean EVERY holiday. It was kind of funny to drive by, especially in February/March/April when quite a few holidays are packed into one quarter of the year. While we made fun of it then, do I remember any other houses on my parents’ street? No. And there’s a reason why.
If you love decorating, here’s where you might be happy about something I have to say: your window display should change often. If it stays the same for too long, your potential customers won’t notice it anymore. Change is eye-catching. It doesn’t need to change too often, but once a month is a good rule of thumb. The holidays are an obvious excuse to change things up (after all, a lot of them exist solely for commercial reasons). So take some time to plan out what your display will look like and how it will align with your promotions or events you have going on at that time.
5. It Doesn’t Encapsulate an Idea
If you think you know what your product or service is, the thing that your customers supposedly buy from you, think again. If you sell things or offer services, your marketing mindset is going to be stuck in that mode. You’re going to think that what makes your product attractive is all the things it can do, or that your service is great because of all the options (including your no contract policy). As long as you sell things and the doing of things for people, you’re not reaching your full potential.
You need to sell ideas.
If your product or service is any good, it should solve a problem or fill a need. That is what you have to sell. None of this other garbage. Your window display is a perfect place to put this into practice. What problem does your business solve for people? How will it improve their lives? What do they gain from becoming your customer? That’s the kind of thing you have to communicate with your window display.
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