Creative Windows - Worth Looking Into. A Quantitative Experiment on Window Displays.
Abstract: As the retail environment becomes fiercer, increased pressure is put on the different parts of a retail strategy. Standing out in the crowd and being consistent throughout the retail tactics are two ways to increase the chances of keeping the brand visible, and the grip around the consumer intact. In recent years, window displays have gained attention and respect as a tool to handle these issues. The window display is a communication channel that reaches the customers directly in the street with the ability to enhance their perception towards the brand, and to immediately affect their shopping behavior. However, there are today almost as many different ways of working with window displays as there are retailers. Further, little research has been done within the area of window displays from the academic standpoint, which has led to a knowledge gap about the efficiency of different window display tactics. The purpose of this study is to make this knowledge gap smaller.A quantitative scenario experiment was performed on 1419 customers of a high street brand's membership club, and complemented with two minor observation studies. Additionally, three visual merchandisers were interviewed and consulted. The manipulation variables were: level of creativity, presence of a price offering, and redesign frequency. Communication effects were investigated in terms of the dependent variables ability, credibility, product quality, exclusivity, entering intention, and purchase intention. The authors found that (1) a creative window leads to an enhanced brand image and stimulates entering- and purchase intention, (2) redesigning the windows creates similar positive outcomes, (3) hedonic customers are more easily influenced and more attentive to both creativity and redesign frequency, and (4) a price offering displayed in the window does not harm the efficiency of the same, in the short-term.The findings imply that creative windows are worth looking into for retailers and practitioners, and that investing in a high redesign frequency would give return. What is important to remember, however, is to think of who your customer is and what it is looking at.
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