The appearance of a shop speaks volumes to the value that is within. This is why it’s imperative to make sure your shop front design is on par with the high expectations and aesthetic standards many shoppers have.


Shop front design is something that thousands of shop owners struggle to perfect. The difficulty arises from the sheer amount of different variables such as your glass, branding, lighting and even interior that need to be accounted for. Luckily, with some foresight, the perfect shop design can be put together in a relatively short amount of time.


These tips will help you take “window shopping” to the next level.



1. The Glass Makes All the Difference


With so many people looking through the glass, shop owners often forget that these people are also looking at the glass.


Although the average person won’t make a direct and immediate distinction between low quality and high quality glass, the difference is extremely subconsciously noticeable.




Every shop front is different, and it’s important to pick out a glass that is not only suitable for your brand and products, but also for the overall structure of the shopping centre. Getting a professional opinion on an appropriate product is a must-do for shop owners that want to make a significant upgrade on their shop front design.




Personally, I like the sleek system in these images. We used a 45mm channel in the head, 25mm channel on walls and floor to hold the glass, 12mm toughened safety glass, recessed floor springs, a commercial entry handle, and frameless patch fittings and pivots.


The method for installing both of these is similar, it’s just that only one has doors. The slimline system is very easy to install and looks great.


Another popular method is using a Criterion aluminum Gallium 100 system or Capral 400 series. This system is very popular due to its ability to be fabricated while on site. It’s got a few different components that simply clip together to form an overall frame.


This system is a bit bigger and bulkier, but allows for much more complex installations.



2. Let There be Light


Having a high quality glass display gives you a huge opportunity to use light to your advantage. Shop owners with a savvy eye for aesthetics often try to create the perfect balance of natural light flowing in from outside, and a welcoming bright light from the interior.


Everything from your glass density, positioning and tint can significantly change how people outside perceive the interior of your store, and how in-store shoppers feel when inside.



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Some shop owners even use their glass shop front design to shine colored lights that match the colors of the store’s brand, or to add to the overall ambience of the interior.



3. Focus on the “Threshold”


The “threshold” area is often referred to as the “decompression zone” because it’s often the first space customers see or interact with when they enter your store. This zone is typically the first 1.5 to 4.5 meters worth of space depending on the size of your store.


It’s important that you really nail down the aesthetic of your store while also helping customers make the transition from the outside world into inside your store. The threshold, however, makes its impression long before someone walks into your shop.


A good threshold looks inviting from the outside, especially when looked at from some high quality and clean windows. Your threshold is as big a part of your shop front design as anything else.


The allure of the threshold is nearly hypnotising. If you’ve ever found yourself inside a store and you’re not sure exactly why, it might be because this relatively small zone sparked your curiosity and brought you to a level of comfort from the outside.



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The threshold gives customers the opportunity to make a snap judgement on how expensive or cheap your store is likely to be. You don’t want to give off the impression that your store is too expensive (and risk being snobby or out-of-reach) or that your store is too cheap (and risk portraying your brand and products in a negative light).


What matters the most is how coordinated your shop’s atmosphere seems. This is where all the attention to detail really gets put on a pedestal to see. The big and small details including your lighting, fixtures, colors and displays all need to come together perfectly in this spot.


Keep in mind that since customers are in a transition mode, they are most likely not going to pay attention to whatever products or signs you have placed here.



Final Thoughts


When designing and implementing your shop front design, it’s helpful to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Visualisation is incredibly powerful for shop front designs. Give your shoppers a story, and try to make them feel how you want them to feel.


Charlie and his girlfriend Jane have been shopping in an outside shopping centre for two hours, and they near your store.


What impression do want to give off here? Do you want your store to look like a pleasant oasis for frequent shoppers or provide an exclusive vibe? Part of the fun of shopping is the experience; how will your store create a unique experience for your shoppers?


The couple sees your glass store front. They notice how clean and modern it is. Beyond the windows, they see a welcoming threshold area.


Well done. You’ve made a good subconscious impression with your shoppers. The high quality values tease a high quality experience. The welcoming threshold seems like a favourable transition from the hot Melbourne sun.


Charlie and Jane enter the store and are pleasantly delighted that the expectations the shop front gave off were met. They shop around.


Mission accomplished.


Creating the ultimate shop front design is an organic and constantly evolving process. Be sure to monitor your shoppers’ behaviours inside and outside your store whenever possible. Test small changes to see if you can improve their overall shopping experience.