If you’re the owner or manager of a retail store, office, or any other customer-facing business premise, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about how the look and feel of your store can impact sales.
And you were right to. Studies show that the design of a store can dramatically influence customer behavior. It can potentially boost sales and make your business more profitable, which is why so many retail owners invest in shopfitting services.
But what you might not have known is that lighting is potentially just as important as other design elements, like fixtures, displays, and store layout. It’s a crucial part of the shopfitting process that is key to the overall success of the fit out.
To help you understand why, we’ve put together this guide on how proper lighting can be used to boost sales.
Why Lighting is Important in Retail Premises
According to a 2015 study by Lux, in-store increases the average spend per customer. How? Well, the study posited that lighting helps to guide customers through your retail store, thereby helping direct your customers to products and making them more likely to spend more money.
Some retailers have reported significant increases in sales after changing their lighting scheme. Zumbotel, for example – a fashion retailer based in Germany – reported a 12% increase in sales following a renovation in which they introduced lighting designed to better appeal to their target market.
It’s not just about guiding your customers through your store, either. It’s also about creating an atmosphere that makes your customers more likely to buy your products. Depending on your brand, this may mean instilling a sense of calm, fun, excitement, or something else entirely.
Let’s move on to look at the different types of lighting and their usage in shopfitting.
4 Different Types of Lighting
We can broadly categorize lighting into 4 different categories:
- Ambient lighting
- Accent lighting
- Task lighting
- Decorative lighting
Ambient lighting is the main lighting of the store. How bright or dim to have this lighting will depend on the mood you’re trying to evoke. You have to be careful to walk a fine line between too dim and too bright. Too bright and you risk giving your customers a headache and making them feel too ‘in the spotlight’. Too dim and they may not be able to see your products clearly or read the price tags.
Accent lighting is lighting that breaks up the overall lighting of your store in order to draw attention to specific areas. Remember how we mentioned that lighting can be used to ‘guide your customers through your store?’. Well, accent lighting is a key part of that. You can use it to highlight certain promotional products to push your customers towards it. You can also use it in window displays and entranceways in order to get customers through the door.
Task lighting is less for customers and more for the staff. Rather than being used to create a certain ambiance, task lighting serves a very functional purpose. That is, to allow you to see better. For example, it may be used in checkout areas so that your cashiers can see their tills more easily. It can also be used to highlight signs to make them more readable, and in fitting rooms to help customers see their outfits better.
Decorative lighting is the polar opposite of task lighting. It serves no functional purpose and is all about visual appeal. It’s intended to beautify your store and invoke an ambiance. For example, let’s imagine that you were trying to encourage customers to make a seasonal purchase. You may want to evoke feelings of nostalgia reminiscent of the Christmas period by using strings of small, ‘christmassy’ lights
General Tips for Choosing Lighting for Your Store
A good shopfitter will take time to understand your store, customers, and brand personality in order to devise the best lighting for your store. However, if you’d rather do it yourself, here are some general tips for choosing store lighting:
- Start by choosing a ‘temperature’ of lighting. Dimmer, redder lighting creates a ‘warmer’ temperature that can help to create an impression of familiarity with your customers and make the space seem smaller. Brighter, whiter lighting creates a ‘cooler’ temperature that can make the space seem larger and more professional.
- Aim for variety. Do a wide mixture of different types of light fixtures and experiment with alternative lighting sources, such as neon fixtures.
- Consider energy. This is more of an economic consideration than a design one, but it’s equally important. You want to make sure your lighting uses the amount of energy you expect. If you’re aiming to be energy efficient, less is more.