When people arrive at your brick-and-mortar retail optical, your window display will be their first in-person impression of the location. What does your display communicate to visitors? 

Eye-catching window displays make prospective customers excited and illustrate your unique value and brand. An appealing eyewear display can engage people before they even enter the building and give your staff the boost they need to capture more optical sales.

How to make a good window display

What goes into a great optical window display? Before we take a look at some eyewear display inspiration, let’s break down what you need for an engaging optical shop facade. 

Who are you trying to attract?

To start: Who are you trying to attract? This is especially important if your optical has a niche. A retail optical focused on youth frames should feature a window display that engages kids and their parents. 

Or consider the unique characteristics of your community: What makes it special and how does your optical add value to it? 

Your window display should appeal directly to the people you want visiting your optical. What that will be is unique to your niche and community. 

How do you want to highlight and differentiate materials

Visual merchandising is the optimization of product presentations to highlight their features and benefits. And it’s an essential part of a successful optical window display. 

By sticking to the right retail merchandising principles you can differentiate products within engaging displays and attract people to explore your optical showroom. The essential elements of an eyewear window display include:

  • Lighting the display elements: Lighting draws the eyes to high margin products and highlights different frame lines. How can you play lighting off of the shadows in your display to create focal points?
  • Window display focal point: What are the key products in your display? Highlight new or high margin products to ensure those are what customers are interested in.
  • The colors in your display: Consider your brand and the theme of your display. What colors will stand out most? Find ways to use colors to highlight and contrast against different areas of your eyewear display.
  • Complex versus simple designs: Keep clutter in mind: A display that’s too busy will lose its centerpiece. How much can you do without sacrificing the material differentiation and focal points that make your optical display pop. 

Window display inspiration

What does an eye-catching eyewear display look like? Take a look! We put together a collection of window inspiration to help you get started on your own showstopper optical display:

A tasty display for back-to-school specials

By using colorful ice cream cones in their display, this optical instantly sends a message: We’re selling frames for kids. And any passing parent who looks closely will see the back to school promotion featuring free children’s eye exams.

Let your lighting lead the eye

Contrasting lighting and shadows bring the eye directly to the frames featured in this window display. Shadows are as important as light. Overdoing the lighting will wash out any focal points in the display, making it flat and unappealing.

Find themes that feature your frames

Below we’re featuring a couple images. Each uses themes in a different way and each does a good job of making sure the frames are the focal point. 

One uses abstract patterns built around thematic colors and shapes in order to present a coherent backdrop that doesn’t overshadow the frames. The other goes all in on its theme as well. The frames stand out against the creative background of brooms and earthy colors.

Do ghosts wear glasses? They do here!

This display will haunt passersby with stylish frames! Holidays are a great excuse for a themed display. Here the optical uses ghosts and fake eyeballs to celebrate Halloween!

Sending messages with signage

Strong signage as a focal point can send a message to prospective customers about a promotion or your brand. The below display communicates something about the optical's brand with a play on a frequently updated mantra.

Can you get creative?

Sure, a shelf system will do the job. But how about hanging a swing? 

Consider the different ways you can get creative in your window display. What can you use instead of shelves? Can you purchase interesting looking bulbs for lighting? How can you have fun with the backdrop?

Keep it clean and simple

Sometimes simple is best. In this case, the frames float on clear shelves beneath hanging bulbs that bathe them in light against a woodgrain background.

How will you design the eyewear display at your optical?

Each of the displays above plays into a unique theme or aligns with the optical's brand in some way. They reflect the culture and the design of the interior showrooms the represent.

How will you take inspiration from the designs above in order to build your own optical window display? Find what fits your unique brand and messaging, stay faithful to it, and highlight your frames in order to help passersby take their first step toward becoming customers and help patients build connections with your optical. Your optical window display is your chance to make not just a first impression, but new impressions with each updated frame line, changing season or exclusive promotion.

What sort of impression will yours make?