In Part 2 of the three-part ultimate guide to in-store merchandising we give easy tips on how to build an engaging window display. Everyone will be doing a double-take when they walk by.
Part 1: Showcasing: A Shopping Experience Worth Leaving the Couch for
Part 2: Window Display: How to Build an Engaging Window Display
Part 3: Store Floor Layout: How to Set (or Re-set) the Floor
First Impressions Matter
A stellar window display is what convinces potential customers to enter the doors and sets the shopping experience. Where to begin? Consider your company’s mission and your target audience. Who do you want to enter your store? For instance, if your target audience has a bohemian style or interested in the outdoors you might choose a nature themed window display like Salt & Sundry did, as pictured above. As you brainstorm, be sure to think about themes that don’t alienate potential customers. For example, if your window display features children’s toys, adults may think that your store caters to a young customer base. Think about your store’s location. Is your store in an area with heavy foot traffic? Are people strolling leisurely in the area or quickly walking to their destination? Do people see your sign while walking or in their cars? Answers to these questions will determine how to design your display.
Merchandising Strategy: Don’t Just Pick a Theme, Tell a Story
Avoid cliches and keep things fresh for customers through a compelling story. You can build on a theme from a standard holiday. Our retailer partner, Salt and Sundry, added the simple but compelling message “Stay Safe DC” and “We Love You” to add some positivity during this pandemic, as shown below.
Salt & Sundry: Photo Credit Mary Sarah Ivers
Implementation Tip: Be sure to calendar out and use your time wisely when building a window display. Customers are often thinking of or seeing other holiday-like displays 4-5 weeks prior to the actual holiday. Be prepared to get your window display out on time as well as change it out in a timely manner to stay relevant.
Target Customer: Inspire Based on Your Local Culture and Surroundings or Bring Distant Lands to Your Store
Anthropologie is known for its imaginative and whimsical visual merchandising. The company aims to create a welcoming, homey environment for its customers. One of its tricks: design based on the local community! For the Seattle store, senior display coordinator Kirsten McElfresh created a window display of the Olympic National Park and a map of Seattle, as shown below. “By doing Seattle Themed things, we have a way to connect with our customers,” she says in a Seattle magazine article. Anthropologie has to work hard at connecting with their location community as they are a larger national retailer. This is where your localized skill set comes in — tailor your stories to your unique location and culture and you’ll win customers loyalty as they love their town and home just as much as you do!
Anthropologie Window Display
Alternatively, you can also look to satisfy your customers’ sense of wonder and adventure by honoring a different culture. Your customers will feel well-traveled without leaving their communities. Might we reference and suggest creating an “Out of Africa” display with KAZI storage baskets like Sue Fisher King has done in this beautiful window display, as shown below.
Sue Fisher King: Featuring KAZI Storage Baskets
Gather the Supplies. Craftiness is Encouraged
Save money by buying supplies at affordable craft stores like Dollar Tree and Save on Crafts. Be eco-friendly and check out your local thrift or consignment stores for some great finds. Vintage is in and many customers love the homey touch that these treasured finds add to a space. Check out this Pinterest board for design inspiration. (Shoutout partners with great window displays by sharing instagram handles?)
Identify Your Focal Point
Aim to keep your merchandising display at eye-level so it can easily be seen by others. You can still hang things from the ceiling but your key pieces should be at eye-level.
Ultimately, too much product without a clear focal point makes windows look cluttered. Focus on one item communicates what the item is (so you can target the right buyer) as well as you can communicate to the passersby that the item featured really is special. Our partner HumanKind Fair Trade nailed their Valentine’s Day window display, as shown below. The intricate hanging heart is in clear focus and at eye level catching by passer’s immediate attention. The symmetrical woven baskets serve as complimentary pieces that pull together the entire window display.
HumanKind Fair Trade: Featuring KAZI Storage Baskets
Be Bold and keep things Interesting
Don’t be afraid to be whimsical! You want a merchandising display that turns heads and gets people inside the door. It sets their expectations for the customer experience they will have in the store. Bold shapes and colors catch people’s eyes. Just make sure it’s on brand. Salt & Sundry uses lights, cutouts, and potted plants in this gorgeous display, as shown below.
Salt & Sundry: Featuring a KAZI Planter
Avoid Clutter with a Well-polished, Clean Look
Adorn your window display with a select few products for you merchandising displays. One trick is to use a high quantity of one product to catch people’s attention. Or you can repeat your name and label on each window like House of Nomad did for a clean minimal look, as displayed below. The plant out front is the perfect touch!
Change Your Displays Frequently to Create Interest and Surprise
Keep things fresh by changing your window display seasonally or every 2 months. We love how Sister Golden embraced the halloween season with pumpkins lining their store front stairs, as pictured below.
Don’t get in a rut and become predictable. This is a great way to keep current customers engaged and also bring in new business.
Don't Forget About the Sidewalk
Spruce up the sidewalk with a little sign out front to get people’s attention. Channel your inner sidewalk chalk days and use it as a marketing tool writing your store name, catchy phrases, and drawings. Add some greenery with potted plants outside your store. Not to mention the positive and social justice messages on their window. We love HumanKind Fair Trade's positive chalkboard message, plus their use of beautiful flower bouquets outside their store front, as shown below.
Why Choose KAZI?
KAZI is more than home decor; it has a mission that you can feel proud supporting. We bring you beautiful hand-crafted goods that add life to your space and empower artisans to weave a better story for themselves. Our designers craft innovative, unique pieces that our artisans in Uganda, Rwanda, and Ghana hand-make. In return the artisans receive a life-changing livable wage. Your purchases have the power to quickly change lives, families, and communities.
KAZI is currently one of only five companies to carry the Nest Seal of Ethical Handcraft on our Rwanda and Uganda products. The Seal carries the highest of standards for assessing artisan homeworker production and supply chains, ensuring important issues like fair wages are paid and no children are in the workforce and supply chain. It also ensured the materials and dyes are ethically sourced and disposed of.
The Nest Seal is a symbol of assurance for you in our supply chain and in letting your customers know the items they shop have been ethically handcrafted by KAZI artisans.