Merchandise-focused displays vs. Artistc displays
Hyunjoo Oh and Jenny Petrie asked the question, “How do storefront window displays influence entering decisions of clothing stores?” (Oh & Petrie, 2011). Their purpose was to find how shoppers’ perceptions of window displays help them in making their store entry decision. Specifically, they chose to compare two different styles of window dressing:
- Merchandise-focused displays, which focus on selling merchandise quickly through a straightforward display of what the store has to offer.
- Artistic displays, which focus on communicating the store’s image and style using implied messages that the shopper must interpret.
Prior to their study, Oh and Petrie did make this observation, “the visual appeal of the store front, window displays, and overall building façade enable consumers to form quick impressions about a store to determine whether they enter a store or not.
After all, if consumers are not interested in a store conveyed to them through exteriors such as window displays, the consumer will be unlikely to enter a store to shop or make purchases”.
Furthermore, in comparing the two displays, the authors hypothesized, “Merchandise-focused displays convey concrete messages and thus facilitate an understanding of the merchandise itself to influence shoppers’ store entry decisions”.
In contrast, artistic displays convey abstract messages to induce curiosity and further encourage exploration within the store” (Oh & Petrie, 2011).
Participants were surveyed and asked to look at eight different window display images and decide if they would enter, not enter, or undecided. Then they were asked to indicate their level of understanding and exploration.
The results for this Empirical study showed that merchandise-focused displays produced a greater understanding and less exploration, while the artistic display produced less understanding with a greater need to explore.
Overall, they found that more people would enter a store if it had an artistic display over a merchandise-focused display (Oh & Petrie, 2011).