Can Lighting Increase Retail Sales
Designing a retail space involves a lot more than choosing product placement, but not everybody realizes all the components that go into a well-designed space. Lighting, for instance, is one of the most important details in a retail space and can have a huge impact on the business. In fact, with the right lighting, you can drive revenue by boosting sales and reducing costs.
With the rise of online shopping, high-street stores are having to fight even harder to grab the attention of consumers. As well as music, scent and temperature, ambient lighting is important to create for customers the ultimate shopping experience, and one that makes purchasing items in store more desirable than the increasingly popular alternatives.
Rob Holroyd, Digital Marketing Manager at LampShopOnline, says:
"Lighting is a powerful influence on a consumer`s shopping habits. It can be used to create an atmosphere, encourage impulse purchases and influence emotions.
"Another perk of visiting shops is being able to inspect products up close, and lighting can take advantage of this by showcasing a product`s features."
For more considered purchases within a luxury outlet, customers may want to spend longer browsing and trying on items to fully enjoy the time they spend in the store. Research shows that dimmed lighting creates a sense of relaxation and encourages consumers to shop at their leisure.
However, in busy high-street stores where products are priced at the cheaper end of the scale, the use of high-activity lighting—which provides bright light to an entire area—can encourage customers to think quickly and make impulse purchases. Retail giants such as Primark and H&M demonstrated this within their stores.
A study published in 2018 found that dimmed lighting can influence consumers to let their guard down and buy for pleasure rather than practical reasons. Bright lighting, on the other hand, is more beneficial to stores such as Apple, where customers need to be able to see the products up close and understand how they work.
Thomas Saint-Noir, Marketing Executive at the Simpson Group, said: "If a retail window display contains flashing lights, a consumer is likely to take their time to look at the window display and the products being advertised.
"Whereas if lighting is used to generate interest around a sale, a consumer is likely to quicken up the speed that they shop."
"Lighting assists in highlighting products and allows a product to shine in a way that natural light cannot achieve. Lighting impacts what we think of a product, and whether to purchase it or not."
Create the desired atmosphere
One of the more common criticisms that people have with LED lighting is that it can be "cold", which more specifically means that the light has a higher color temperature or CCT. The problem with this is that "cool lighting" can often be harsh, industrial, and uninviting when used in the wrong space, and this can create the wrong ambiance for your store. Part of choosing the right lighting, therefore, is selecting the right color temperature. Cool white light is great if you want to make your space look larger, but opt for warm lighting (lower CCT) if you want to create a more intimate and welcoming mood. This will often encourage buyers to stay longer and come back again.
Rob added: "This gives retailers an opportunity to have fun with their lighting, show the brand`s personality and improve the consumer`s overall shopping experience.
"It might be beneficial for retailers to layer different lighting through the store, to get the best of both worlds by creating an atmosphere, while still emphasising certain products."
Decorative lighting such as neon logos, fairly lights or chandeliers can be used in store or in visual merchandising displays to set the tone of the brand and lead customers in to the shop. Brands such as Urban Outfitters and The Whisky Shop have employed this tactic.
Thomas said: "High end stores often use large hanging lights to demonstrate the amount of budget they have in creating the perfect customer experience."
Hollister, a fashion retailer, is renowned for having especially dark lighting in its stores which it uses to create a club-like atmosphere that attracts a younger market.
Use Lighting to Draw Customer Attention and Highlight Your Products
Lighting can also boost sales because when used strategically, it can draw customers to different areas of the store that they would otherwise overlook.
Strategic lighting is also great for drawing attention and accent lighting is ideal for creating contrast while highlighting specific products. You especially may want to focus light on sale items, new releases, or special items that you want to feature. Accent lighting can also provide better illumination for products, helping customers to see important details more clearly. Finally, high-contrast lighting also works well in display windows and will catch the eye of passersby and bring more customers into your store. It`s important, however, to use high CRI (color rendering index) lighting, which will accurately show the true colours of your products and make them look their best.
Rob said: "If a store is under refurbishment or there are areas that don`t match the brand`s image, dim lighting can be used to hide these flaws and the more attractive areas can be highlighted with bright lighting."