Window display of six child mannequins wearing fall apparel

4 Window Display Ideas to Make Your Store Stand Out

  • By Matthew Ritchie

For visual merchandisers, window displays are more than just visual entry points into a store. They’re striking, aspirational statements designed to capture shoppers’ imaginations and communicate not just a brand vision, but a lifestyle. That’s why having strong window display ideas and knowing the best practices are so important.

Because of that, visual merchandisers have to work double duty as both designers and masters of illusion, crafting stunning displays that seem easily inhabitable and drive product sales.

An easy way to do that is by playing with perspective when crafting your window displays and coming up with ideas.

As these examples illustrate, there’s more to making a great window display than simply understanding a shopper’s physical viewpoint.

Here are some tips and window display ideas to draw in more customers.


1. Size Matters When Creating Window Displays

Want to wow with your window displays, but don’t have a ton of space? Try messing around with the size of items in your displays, as Fendi did with this series that incorporated huge hands to make their designer handbags stand out. Not only does its surreal look guarantee a second glance, but the otherworldly orientation creates a strong focal point.

And here’s an eye-catching example from the people at Bloomingdale’s and Harvey Nichols, who incorporated humongous headphones to channel a vibe similar to the Swinging Sixties.


2. Another Point of View Can Put Merchandise Into Perspective

Typically, window displays are positioned along a horizontal plane, and there’s a good reason for that: they match up with your eyeline, meaning that whether you’re across the street from a storefront or shopping center, you can get a clear view of what’s on display in a store’s windows.

But, increasingly, visual merchandisers are experimenting with different vantage points to take their displays to new heights.

Macy’s channeled Santa Claus on his sleigh with this winter wonderland. Meanwhile, Diesel took things up a notch with a display depicting a person dreaming of the perfect pair of jeans. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the unfathomable depths Zegna’s creative team plunged to craft the swimming sensation below.

All three are imaginative examples that elevate your brand and set the tone for what’s in-store.


3. Think Inside the Box When Crafting Your Window Displays

Compartmentalizing is a great way to help shoppers focus on what’s on display by breaking them up into viewable chunks.

Sometimes, they’re clearly defined, like what Westfield Woden did in the summer of 2017 with these boxed-in floral displays fit for an art gallery.

Other times, the separation appears more nuanced—Tods put the spotlight on accessories by removing the majority of their mannequins from their displays in a move that’s both bold and beautiful.

As Hermès demonstrated below, breaking the mold is a must if you want major attention, so play within your parameters and use store window constraints to your advantage.


4. Strike a New Pose with Your Mannequins

Mannequins are designed with blank, uniform appearances because, at their essence, they’re conduits—articulated dolls meant for easy alterations. They act as a physical representation of the shopper, and, when dressed and posed with a product, often entice a shopper inside.

Generally, they’re posed pretty plainly. But sometimes they take on a different shape in a surprising explosion of movement, depicting everything from a day at the gym to the end of a yoga session in a move that makes them stand out from the crowd.

It can be a bit of a balancing act, but by experimenting with mannequin positioning, your window displays can take on a life of their own.

For more visual merchandising tips and tricks, window display ideas, and how-tos, click here.


About the Author

Matthew Ritchie is a content marketing specialist and former arts and culture journalist. He lives in Ottawa, ON. When not researching and writing about the retail industry, he can be found hiking the trails of nearby Gatineau Park or alphabetizing his record collection.