VisionControlFilm Blog

Dynamic Glass: Applications for Retail Designs in the Age of Ecommerce

June 08, 2017

Dynamic glass can be used to create privacy, security, and inginuity. Frosted glass applications are powerful tools for retail settings, as well was office spaces and residences.

When we think about store windows, we’re usually focused on what’s on the other side. It makes sense for companies to feature their most popular products in window displays. Ideally, a potential customer will see a product they love, then come in and buy it. Retail window displays also give passersby a clear idea of what type of store they are standing in front of without them having to investigate.

Window displays haven’t changed much over the years, but new advances in dynamic glass film technologies offer designers alternatives to old designs. Consumers who frequently patronize retail stores have expectations when it comes to window displays, and they are rarely surprised.

Merchandising can do wonders to make a product more appealing, but there is little room for innovation. Additionally, the brick and mortar retail sector has seen some losses due to the e-commerce sector. During the holiday season of 2016, department store sales were down 6.4% over the year while “non-store” sales were up 11.9%.

People like to shop online for a variety of reasons. The most notable reason is the convenience that online shopping offers, but many consumers choose to shop online because they can avoid crowds, manage their budget more easily, and compare prices at a glance.

But despite the allure of ecommerce, the majority of American consumers still shop at brick and mortar retail stores and do so frequently. Two of the biggest challenges for the retail industry are getting people into the store and creating an enjoyable and memorable experience for them. There are a number of strategies retailers can enact to accomplish this. They should start with the storefront.

Privacy Windows

Grabbing Customer Attention with Dynamic Glass Films

Grabbing the attention of customers who are walking by is extremely important in malls, shopping complexes, and dense commercial areas. Although the act of “window shopping” has moved online in some respects, the experience of shopping with friends is still very much engrained in our culture.

Retailers often try to entice people into their stores by offering them a glimpse through the window and into their product lines. Not every retailer tries to capture attention with the windows themselves. Advancements in the materials necessary for window films have given rise to new applications for these products in retail and commerce settings.

While many businesses rely on window graphics, vinyl wraps, and other types of displays for physical advertisements, visual control films have the power to control what is visible and what is hidden from sight. These types of films are useful for enhancing privacy, but they can also be used in creative retail displays.

Dynamic glass Vision Control Film in an office setting.

Imagine looking at a retail storefront from afar. There are four windows. Behind three of the windows are manikins with attractive outfits, but one of the windows appears to be glossed over. As you approach the storefront, the window slowly becomes transparent, and behind it is an elaborate ensemble that captures your attention.

These types of displays can also become clear horizontally, so as walkers pass by, an image manifests in their periphery encouraging them to take a second look. There are both creative and practical applications for these materials.

Dynamic glass film can be used to reduce the level of natural light entering a retail building. Direct sunlight in the morning and evening can have a permanent fading effect on clothes, books, and other retail products. Direct sunlight can also hurt the eyes of employees and customers within the store. Dynamic glass film that changes opacity based on the viewing angle can dampen the harshness of sunlight coming from low angles while still letting natural light into the store.

Creating a Unique Customer Experience

There is a growing push among retailers to create immersive retail experiences for their customers. Many retailers are testing experimental store layouts, storefronts, and architectures.

There is also a growing push to blend technology with the retail experience using apps, dynamic displays, interactive mirrors, and other technologies. Much of this is an effort to highlight the unique experience of store shopping by making it more memorable and enjoyable than shopping online.

Along with other creative ideas, using dynamic glass films inside of a retail store can help to create a memorable experience for customers. Glass displays and fitting room doors can be affixed with dynamic glass vision control film to bolster design and create privacy. The film can also be used to enhance security in sensitive areas of a store without ruining the view of outside, inhibiting natural light, or creating the sensation that customers and employees are boxed in.

Retail is Still Going Strong

Despite recent ecommerce trends and high-profile news stories about store closings, retail is still a robust part of the economy. Retail sales and consumer spending drive 70% of economic growth and, year-over-year, retail sales were up 5.4% as of March, 2017.

The challenge for retailers is deciding how to differentiate themselves from ecommerce giants like Amazon when more consumers are shopping online than ever before. Creating the immersive retail experience is a multi-faceted effort. Incorporating new technologies into retail stores is necessary to increase customer engagement, grab their attention, and keep them coming back for more.

Dynamic glass film can be used alongside interactive displays, smart mirrors, and other technologies to create a 21st-century atmosphere in what would otherwise be considered a traditional brick and mortar store.

How VisionControlFilm® Works

Vision Control Film® is engineered on a minute level to only allow opacity from certain angles. As the viewing angle changes, they opacity of the glass becomes blurry until it appears fully frosted. There are four types of Vision Control Film®, each offering two choices of viewing angle.

VisionControlFilm® from Lintec of America

Lintec’s VisionControlFilm® is engineered on a miniature level to only allow opacity from certain angles. As the viewing angle changes, the opacity of the glass becomes blurry until it appears fully frosted. There are four applications of Vision Control Film®, each offering two choices of viewing angle. The three main applications for VisionControlFilm® are privacy, security, and ingenuity.

Privacy

VisionControlFilm® removes the need for window blinds. It enables architects and designers to provide building occupants with the privacy they need without sacrificing their view of the outside of a building. The films reduce glare and block 99% of UV rays, but still provides an average 91% of light transmission.

Security

VisionControlFilm® enables building designers to control what is visible from where. The films can be installed to prevent visual contact from above, below, left or right, without sacrificing any natural light entering a work environment. The films can be coated to protect against cracking and can even mitigate the risk of glass shattering.

Ingenuity

For creative installations, businesses, and retail establishments, VisionControlFilm® creates an unparalleled effect by controlling what is revealed or concealed to onlookers. These materials can be used in glass walkways, storefront windows, and in place of blinds, screens, or drapes. They are especially useful for creative merchandising because they create the element of surprise.

Privacy Windows

About Lintec Digital Window Graphics

Lintec of America, Inc. is a leading manufacturer in the field of adhesives. Lintec’s Digital Window Graphics product line introduces new materials which are compatible with today’s ink jet technologies. These materials can be used in windows and other glass applications to bring spaces to life and increase privacy and security. For more information about our products, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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