Small business marketing: 5 tips for a top shop front

Attract, engage and entice. That’s it, the three rules of creating a compelling shop front as part of your small business marketing.

Successful window displays grab the attention of passersby, engage their interest so they come in for a closer look and then entice them into the shop to discover more.

Creating a shop front that works is a mix of art and science. You need to know your customers, know your products, be creative yet know when to hold back.

Below are some guiding principles that will help you get the mix right and set you up for success.

1. Create a focal point for your display

Where do you want your customers to look? Is it a new product? A poster? Whatever it is, make sure you guide their eye there. And try to resist cramming in more than one focal point. If you are displaying a range of products make it easy to find.

2. Keep the display balanced

Visual balance is important in shop designs. If half your display is vertical and the rest horizontal, the window may look lopsided and confusing.

Also, place larger, heavier objects in the window first and the smaller ones last. This will automatically help you create a sense of balance and control how many objects you place in the window. As soon as it starts to feel crowded, stop.

3. Keep it simple

Stick with one colour, one product, one theme. In other words, try and tell one main story with your window. Instead of cramming all your new season range in, make a feature out of the best one. Or create a seasonal story that talks to some (not all) of your new products. Don’t cram so much into the window that everything gets lost.

4. Invest in good lighting

A good window can be undone by bad lighting.

It’s a good idea to invest in couple of positional lights at the top and front of your window. Lights from below create huge shadows – great if you’re a gothic store but not so great otherwise. Lights directly overhead are harsh and create glare.

Off-centre lights in the top, front windows are the best option. They create the most flattering and appealing shadows and accents.

5. Remember where your customers are standing

The last thing to think about is the eye line of passersby. Displays that are too low or too high might not be in the comfortable eye line of customers and might not get noticed.

When you create a display, check how it looks from a few paces back, then take a few more. Does the display look good up close, but strange from afar? If so, change it. You want the display to appeal to customers walking directly passed as well as people across the street.

Strong colours are a good way to draw people in from afar, interesting details or great sales offers entice them when up close and a welcoming entrance into the shop will entice them in.

The above tips offer some guidance to get you started. Your shop front is your chance to show off your wares and your creative spirit so the key thing to remember is to have fun.