Forget Physical Window Display: Time to Redefine it Under the Pandemic Era

More post-pandemic changes are expected to hit the fashion industry. We’re used to traditional store window displays that clearly showcase a shop’s merchandise. Store windows are an easy way to attract the attention of shoppers and increase passerby’s foot traffic. 

Store Window Display_TDF Visual Merchandising Window Display Manufacturer

(Christian Dior, Shot on 5 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong)

However, following the lockdown, social distancing, and safety measures to help stay safe during the pandemic, store window displays no longer function like they used to. Today’s consumers spend most of their time doing research online and buying merchandise from online stores. According to Oberlo, 26.28% of 7.8 billion people shop online, which is over a quarter. We’re heading into what’s known as a “low-touch economy.” Store windows have to be redefined to meet the new shopping standards. 

This blog will explore how the luxury industry is redefining store window displays and how we incorporate technology to create an immersive shopping experience for customers.

Reimagining Physical Store Window Displays

Window displays are no longer just an advertising tool to boost foot traffic.  With the introduction of technology, window displays are so much more. Luxury brands are re-strategizing window displays.  Meet shoppable window displays, the latest definition. 

We used to see a lot of static window displays without digital engagement between brands and consumers. Now, to reduce physical contact and initiate engagement between brands and customers, more luxury brands are implementing engaging store window displays. These aren’t your average store windows. The displays in 2020 interactive feature elements like QR codes, VR effects, touch screens, and AR effects. While some of these features were implemented pre-pandemic, post-pandemic, they’re a must-have. This is the future of visual merchandising. 

Before the pandemic, some brands were deemed ahead of their time with interactive shop windows. Kenzo adopted touch screens with social media interaction in store windows so customers could browse and buy new items during the brand’s ‘No Fish No Nothing’ campaign. Gucci applied AR and virtual reality (VR) on its scannable window displays where consumers can scan images with their Gucci app to reveal the AR elements hidden behind the store windows. With the need for social distancing still alive and well, it’s only natural that there will be a shift in consumer shopping behaviour. While e-commerce stores are still seeing incomparable traffic, interactive store windows may be the tool brick & mortar shops need to compete. Intricate, futuristic store window displays bring an exclusive, personalized customer journey. They’re the best way to blend physical shopping with online shopping. 

An in-person shopping journey is not purely physical anymore due to technology incorporation, strengthening the omnichannel strategy to reach customers. 

Combine Physical & Digital Arts

By turning physical store windows into an immersive shopping experience complete with social media engagement and technology-driven design will help connect brands to their target audience. Digital arts create a new aesthetic to the window displays of the future. 

Burberry’s new social store in Shenzhen, China, is the epitome of futuristic window displays. Burberry collaborated with Tencent to introduce interactive mirrors to capture people’s movement when someone interacts with it. Selfridges also created a digital store window with 3D animation in their Oxford Street location. The window was dubbed ‘The New Order Windows.’ This new store window highlights digitally rendered products on the large screen and allows shoppers to purchase directly from the window with a QR code. This helps reinforce the urge to shop when customers pick up online orders or check out in physical stores.

We know the first touchpoint for most customers is social media. Luxury brands are opting to use a gamified social experience to complement their brick-and-mortar stores during the pandemic. According to WGSN, in 2020, 41% of consumers expect a 360-degree brand experience, including fun, relaxed, and off-the-beaten-track experiences from luxury brands. Gucci and Louis Vuitton created a stimulating and exciting social experience in physical stores for consumers. This kind of gamified environment increases the enhanced value of the luxury shopping journey and extends the online shopping experience to luxury physical stores.

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Final Thoughts

Before Covid-19,  interactive window displays were not popular. Traditional store window arrangements were enough to attract customers. With the new pandemic-era, luxury brands are redefining window displays. Window shopping is changing. Positive engagement between consumers and products is paramount for luxury brands to deliver an immersive shopping experience. 

At TDF Asia, we offer flexible visual merchandising solutions in just 5 easy steps. Learn more about how we create window displays, product displays, and fixtures for the luxury retail industry. Please don’t hesitate to contact our project management team at enquiry@tdf-asia.com or give us a call at +852 2116 9583.

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