The shop window: first point of contact between a client and store, it must now become innovative
First impressions count which emphasises the importance of an innovative shop window, but it is too often ignored by companies, who are happy to display a few products... and not cease every opportunity that this very unique space provides.
The first stage of making a shop window an asset is to create an aesthetic space which becomes a real backdrop for the products on show.
In bakeries and chocolate shops, at Easter or on Valentine’s Day (here at Dalloyau), particular attention is paid to designing an eye catching shop window that attracts clients… and wins them over: by seeing the décor quality, the client gets a positive impression of the know-how of the pastry chef and his products (it’s the halo effect). To strike the customers even more, brands can bet on originality, by creating quirky shop windows, like the one of the hen with giant cockerels at chocolate shop Patrick Roger at Easter, or those symbols of masculine chic floating in the air at De Fursac’s…
Inanimate decor is the most banal offered by the shop window: animation is used more and more to better attract passers-by. Paris Christmas shop windows are one of the most poetic examples: each year, shop windows are transformed into a chosen theme, with marionettes and other colourful animations, to the delight of children… and their parents.
These innovative shop windows are extreme as they contain almost no products sold in-store – the shop window exists for itself. It’s the principal of artistic shop windows: quality items are displayed with real artistic value. Even if it rarely links to what’s on offer in the shop, the brand benefits from this valuable association. At Repetto, Sleeping Beauty is displayed by choreographer Marius Petipa: a beautiful, cultural shop window, even if it sticks to the heart of Repetto’s profession, dance.
Another way of taking advantage of technological progress to liven up shop windows: offering clients’ 3D glasses to enjoy a show projected onto a shop window, as Citadium did in April 2011 (opposite).
These even go as far as becoming interactive shop windows. In 2010, the American clothing brand Daffy’s organised an innovative display, with mannequins wearing outfits… picked by the passers-by themselves, through a texting system: the shop windows had a sign saying ‘Text Molly to tell her what to wear’, followed by a phone number. An excellent way of raising client-awareness around the clothes shown! Especially because this sort of initiative allows the clothing brand to remind customers that it listens to their wishes and views: they feel listened to and involved.
In Germany, passers-by were even able to try out the Ralph Laurenshop window vendingmachines, a real interface where clients could have their clothes showcased, add them to their baskets and… not even enter the shop to hand over their credit card.
But in this case, the shop window almost replaces the shop, because it abuses its functions. Therefore, the most effective way to make it a real company asset is to create a ‘shop window concept’ – as some companies have done with their ‘concept stores’ with very specific protocols like Abercrombie & Fitch. An excellent way of attracting the client’s eye… and convincing them to come in!
For more photos: Journal des vitrines.