“First impressions are the most lasting” is a proverb that exists in many languages. As human beings we do our best to appear friendly, funny, and intelligent whenever meeting a stranger. Many marketers also argue for packaging to be the most important marketing vehicle at the POS for the very same reason. But what if shoppers do not even bother to enter your store?
Today’s shop owners don’t seem to care about making a good first impression. Dressing shop windows on a regular basis seems to have become an aggravating task in our modern world.
Yet, most of us will have vivid childhood memories of our favorite shop window. I still remember a particular one of a toy store in my home town. Locomotives running through a mountainous landscape, helicopters flying over a city, and firemen extinguishing a fire in a department building fought for my attention. Standing there for minutes, I tried to catch every single detail of this miniature city. I always annoyed my mom to pass by that store on our regular shopping trips and once in a while, I got a new toy.
So why don’t store owners care anymore about their shop windows. Is it too costly or time-consuming? Are there other means which are more effective in attracting shoppers´ attention than a simple store window?
In 2009, Liganova proved all critics wrong when they prepared a shop window for Diesel’s Berlin store.
A messy and completely destroyed living room grabbed the attention of passersby. Playing an interactive game using motion sensing cameras, shoppers could destroy the room even further (click on the photo to watch a video). Although the actual “product” took a backseat (the jeans were barely visible and completely destroyed), the shop window caught the attention and turned viral.
According to German Manager Magazin, store visits increased by a factor of 200 during the activation.
Measuring the success of shop windows shouldn’t be all too complicated. Cameras could record the percentage of shoppers stopping at the window, record their average time watching the window, and measure the conversion rate of shoppers gazing at the window to the ones actually entering the store.
Especially shops with small marketing budgets should reconsider this traditional form of marketing. It might be the most efficient means to convince passersby to enter a store. Windows should be simple, bold and distinctive to attract the attention of the busy shopper in our modern metropolises. Although shop windows like the one Diesel installed might be costly, shop owner’s creativity comes for free.
Some big stores in the US invest fortunes each year to arrange and decorate their Christmas windows. Tourists are queuing up to get a glimpse of Macey´s, Tiffany´s, or Barneys´ famous windows. Are they misspending their marketing budget or might the old shop window still be an effective marketing vehicle even in the digital era?
Send us pictures of shop windows that caught your attention.
Or comment below whether you consider shop windows to be an old-fashioned and outdated form of marketing.