Whether you’re window shopping or have a specific product in mind, a window display can catch your eye, make obvious what a shop offers, and draw you in… or not. In their blog, What’s in a Window, The Retail Duo state that when used to it’s full potential a shop window can be a deciding factor as to whether or not a passerby enters your store or walks on by.

The Retail Duo, based in Toronto, is made up of a ‘dynamic crew of two’, Karen Kritzer and Diane Spiridoulias. Together they take the stress and worry out of retail dilemmas and offer fresh perspectives, and amazing results. If you can hire the experts to help you strategize and design your window that’s great, but if not here are some tips for doing it on your own.

Know Your Audience.

If you haven’t already, create buyer personas. This will allow you to better understand the needs and wants of your audience and customers and market more effectively to them. If you are located on a busy main street your audience is likely to be passing by your shop window quickly on their way to a meeting or coffee so you want your display to stand out and quickly catch attention. However, if you own a bookstore on a sleepy side street you may have people stopping to take in your display and perhaps reading a book title or two.

Tell a Story.

When creating a window display, start by determining the theme or story. Your window can communicate the season, style or even fair trade or non-profit group you support. For example, you own a general store that sells locally roasted, fair trade coffee beans. The company is coming out with a new flavour that you would like to promote. You set up your window display to showcase the new flavour with a backdrop of burlap coffee bags and sprinkle in items and photos from the source country following the ethical and sustainable theme.

Utilize the Space

Now that you have a theme, make sure to stick to it! Design your window with clean lines and colours consistent to your theme and brand. Make sure to have enough to catch the eye of passersby but not so much that your window is busy and over-whelming. Pro tip – use brand colours. People will relate your brand to your store and product leaving a lasting impression that will keep them coming back and bringing their friends!


If a mannequin is going to grace your window, make it great! If you have more than one it’s a good idea to have them interacting with each other to add more life to the decor. Mannequins can definitely make your window more fun if used in the right way!

Photo Op! 

Now that you have a great window display, why not make it a photo op! Take pics of your audience checking out your window display and post them on social media!

If you’re ready to dive into creating an attractive and effective window display but need a little more help, the Small Business Advisory Centre is hosting a webinar called Creating Impactful Displays & Shop Windows facilitated by The Retail Duo on Tues. June 20th. Find out more in our online Events Calendar – Creating Impactful Displays & Shop Windows | Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce (cpchamber.com)