The shop window is an essential part of retail marketing – it is the point of contact between the store and the customer and the first thing that passersby notice about a shop or a store branch. The significance of shop windows has long been underestimated, even though shop windows (and shop window advertising) have been around for almost 250 years. Today, based on advertising psychology studies, we know that shop windows have an impact on two levels: cognitive and emotional. The conveyance of information (written messages like "SUMMER SALE" or "50% off everything") appeals to customers on a cognitive level, while the presentation, including color schemes, decorations, and lighting, reaches the viewer emotionally.
Do you want to make the most of your shop window as a communication tool for your store? Opt for modern shop window design and the use of high-quality print products! Mail Boxes Etc. supports you in shop window design with various printed materials: we provide window films, window decals, window tattoos, signs, posters, and printed display walls. Whether you focus more on text or on photos and graphics doesn't matter. Just let us know what you have in mind, and we will make it happen!
The first thing you need to decide is the type of shop window design you want to create: Do you want to allow outsiders to see inside your store – or do you want to create a shop window scene with a backdrop (= using an opaque display wall)? Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Clear view concepts are more inviting and reduce the "threshold fear" for passersby to enter your store – that's the advantage. The disadvantage is that with a clear view into the store, the viewers' attention might not be captured by the advertising messages in the shop window, potentially causing them to overlook them. Display wall concepts work exactly the opposite way.
In general, clear view concepts are more suitable for large stores with visually appealing product displays that attract customers even without attractive shop window decorations. Display wall concepts are better suited for small shops with a manageable range of products or without products on display (such as travel agencies, tanning studios, and massage salons). The display walls can be self-printed or serve as supports for posters or stickers. Mail Boxes Etc. offers a variety of large-format printing solutions for display wall design – from printed displays to banners and roll-ups.
1. Advertising on the shop window glass – this includes window films and window decals. A distinction needs to be made between exterior and interior decals: Exterior decals are applied to the outside of the window and are bright and easily visible regardless of the sun's position. However, they are susceptible to weather conditions. Interior decals are applied inside the store, behind the shop window glass (text on interior decals needs to be printed in mirror image). They are weather-resistant and cannot be damaged by vandalism, but their effectiveness might be affected by glass reflections.
2. Advertising in the area immediately behind the shop window – this includes posters that are hung or placed behind the shop window glass (e.g., in a sandwich stand).
3. Advertising on display walls behind the shop window – this includes printing on display walls and directly sticking advertising posters/stickers onto the display walls.
Creating effective shop window designs is an art in itself. It's no coincidence that the profession of "shop window designer" existed until 1975. (Today, the profession is called "visual merchandiser"; it encompasses not only shop window decoration but also other marketing-oriented design work in publicly visible areas.)
Of course, every store owner can take shop window design into their own hands – and with the support of a professional print partner like Mail Boxes Etc., you can achieve equally good advertising effects as with the help of service providers. However, there are a few fundamental things to consider:
Shop window designs are more appealing when they have a theme. The theme can be seasonal (e.g., "Summer," "Vacation," "Christmas") or business-related (e.g., "Grand Opening," "Discount Weeks"). Consider how you can create a holistic presentation for your chosen theme and complement your print advertising materials with appropriate decorative items, such as a parasol or oversized (play) banknotes.
No matter how creative a shop window design concept is, it will eventually become "worn out." This doesn't apply to corporate design elements such as the store name or the affixed business logo. However, banners with the inscription "Summer Sale" should have disappeared from the shop window by the end of summer or have been replaced by other banners. Outdated shop window advertising is not credible; it can even discourage potential customers from entering the store. Depending on the type of advertising material, consciously choose either enduring shop window film (for name lettering or slogans) or poster printing (for non-permanent advertising messages).
Lighting is an important aspect of shop window design: the brighter it is behind the glass, the better the shop window advertising will be perceived from the outside. Therefore, ensure adequate lighting. With the help of modern LED spotlights, you can achieve great effects, and the energy consumption of LED lighting is so low that even nighttime lighting doesn't incur significant costs.
What should you avoid in shop window advertising? Apart from not tolerating dirty windows (the best shop window advertising is useless if it cannot be seen clearly), refrain from publishing misleading messages. If there's a huge "50% off" sticker on your shop window, make sure you offer corresponding discounts and not just 20 or 30 percent off. Avoid making advertising claims that cannot be proven true (e.g., "cheapest hair salon in town"), as this can lead to legal consequences.
However, it is legally permissible to display products in the shop window that are not available for purchase – such as art objects or sample items or individually reserved pieces: According to German jurisdiction, the shop window display is not a direct offer. Therefore, customers have no right to receive a product displayed in the shop window.
With the help of Mail Boxes Etc., you can turn every shop window into an effective communication platform. Don't waste the potential eye-catching effect of your store window with hand-lettered posters (which always look unprofessional); instead, rely on high-quality printed posters, decals, and window films. We are happy to provide comprehensive advice on the available options and the suitability of each advertising material.
We look forward to your inquiry!
*The service offering may vary depending on the location and MBE Center.