Guest Blog by Ryan Gavin
Your retail store’s design is one of the most crucial elements of your success. The impact you make on your customer when they first walk in the door is what stays with them forever, so when they hear or see your name anywhere they think of the design. A lot of store owners, however, decide to focus on the interior more than the exterior. The walls, lighting, layout, and colors are all important elements of your design, but the real eye-catcher happens before the customer even walks in the door. The moment the potential customer sees your store, they immediately record this image in their mind because this design is how they’ll find you from now on. That image is their first impression.
Commercial Window Designs
The role commercial windows play in the designing of your retail store comes down to three factors, each highly dependent on your target demographic:
First, you must choose your target demographic if you haven’t already. If it’s a new store design and you’re a startup store, then this is the perfect time for you to decide. Afterwards, choose materials, colors, and features to match this demographic. As it would be impossible to go through all of the possible combinations of materials, colors, and features for all of the possible target demographics, we’ll focus on just one: teen clothing.
Targeting something like the teenage demographic means that you have to stand out and be unique among the rest. If they can walk by your store without even noticing you, then you may need a new window design. Some of the materials you have to choose from include wood, vinyl, aluminum, and glass. The teenage generation is likely not interested in wood windows, although there are some complicated designs you could create with them. Full glass windows are likely the best route in this case.
Colors and Features
The glass option could provide you with some interesting design ideas, and is the most popular for retail stores. You could have a framing option with colors, such as blue for a surf shop. However, the real eye-poppers come from the features. Some of the features you could use are tints, films, and engravings. I would recommend asking a designer what they recommend you place in, on, and around your windows. If you are a store like Hot Topic, you’ll definitely use tints to make the windows darker, but still see-through. Engravings are more common for luxury stores, such as a jewelry store, but anything can be effective if used properly. Films provide protection as well as aesthetics, and are highly customizable in terms of giving your window a design. Last but not least there’s what goes in the windows. Posters, products, manikins, sales, and other items can be placed in the window to grab the attention of passersby. The combination of these features and materials with clean new commercial windows can and likely will attract new customers.
Ignoring your commercial windows and your storefront can be deadly to your image. Find your demographic, and target their interests and what design they would look at and remember. Using plain glass windows with posters may cut it, but you should get a little more creative with the materials, framing options, and the numerous features available.
Ryan Gavin is an associate of Aeroseal Windows & Storefront. He believes windows can improve a business dramatically when installed professionally.