in retail marketing, the window is back

Last week’s piece about Shopper Marketing originally started life as a post about Windows (the glass fronted storefront space, not the operating system) and when I came across this great photo (from Wallpaper via @rbt74 on LinkedIn) of Selfridges’ windows devoted to the Apple Watch I realised I still needed to shine a light on the under-appreciated Window.


Apple have taken over all 24 of Selfridges’ windows with their floral installation that brings the Apple Watch ‘motion faces’ to life.  It’s the first time that all of the store’s windows have been devoted to one product and a very interesting  partnership where fashion and tech meet.

But it’s the windows themselves that I find most interesting of all because this is just another example of the resurgence of the window as a valid communications channel / media option if you’re considering the customer journey.  On a recent mooch round Leeds city centre I saw some great use of windows as a media in their own right:

(sorry about the shaking, I’m still getting the hang of vine)

A really great window is there to engage, to snap shoppers out of auto-pilot and entice them to pause, connect with the brand and provide the final nudge to cross the threshold.  It’s the last piece of brand comms before shoppers enter the store AND the first stage of the instore customer journey yet hugely under appreciated as a valid part of the retail marketing mix.

I’ve always appreciated a good window, in no small part because my Dad actually lectured on window dressing at retail summer schools in the 1970s. I’ve been the irritating one in agency internal meetings asking if we can include a window display section in the franchisee marketing handbook or piping up “but what about the windows?” at the end of the new-instore-customer-journey presentation.  Perhaps these great windows above are a sign that the tide is finally shifting towards all retailers (not just upmarket department stores) seeing windows as a medium for creative brand communications and some kick-ass shopper marketing.

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