How To Design a Store Window Display?

Annette K. Brown

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Know Your Target Audience

A target audience is the group of people at which your marketing and advertising efforts are aimed. Every business has a specific target audience, and your window display design depends on it. Your window display should be targeted enough to attract the right customers but should not be so specific that it turns off potential customers. Knowing your audience means knowing the type of products they like, what might appeal to them, and what their trends are.

See related: How To Identify Your Target Audience? Define And Reach Your Ideal Customer Profile

For example, look at this window display of the French fashion house Isabel Marant.

Retail window displays illustration from the Isabel Marant

Human connection, especially love, is a certain way to appeal to most consumers. And by draping its dresses with photos of happy couples kissing, Isabel Marant manages to sell the feeling of love with its apparel.

In this case, such a display is targeted towards adult consumers with a more refined taste. A display targeting children or teenagers would look far different. Remember that your display should reflect the same appeal to the same audience that your products have.

Choose The Right Theme For Your Window Display

The theme of a window display should reflect what is available for sale in the store so that customers know what to expect upon walking in. The overall look of a window display should match the identity of the store while showcasing the products it sells. Before sketching out your window display ideas, start with a story based on a theme. Use your storytelling skills to turn it into something more refined. For example, instead of “Halloween,” think “Sleepy Hollow.”  Plan your displays around seasonal or holiday themes too. During the spring, for instance, you can catch the attention of passersby with a spring-themed chalkboard sign. Signs are a great way to give your customers information about what’s on sale or simply offer them a smile as they pass by. The best part about signs is that their message can be adapted as often or as seldom as you want! Just make sure to keep your displays clean and fresh. Window displays are usually changed at least once a season. And some basic housekeeping is important, too: dust the space and clean the windows regularly.

Illustration of a window display in spring.
Eye-level window display

For example, Berluti, a prestigious French leather maker, understands the importance of a focal point. In the instance above, by presenting an outfit with a Batman shadow, they communicate that wearing their clothes will allow their customers to unleash their inner Batman.

Convenience store window display illustration
bad example of retail window display

The purpose of a window display is not to showcase everything you sell but to display products that you think will catch people’s attention and entice them to come into your store to see what else you sell. 

The window display is like a magnet in a way. The best storefronts use simple but exciting visual elements to draw users in. Clutter your storefront less; keep it as simple as possible, but striking.

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