Can the right lighting boost your store’s sales?

We think so. Here are 7 golden rules for creating an inspiring environment and encouraging shoppers to spend

As uncertainty about Brexit mounts, prices rise and wages flatline, it’s little wonder the high street is suffering. Add the relentless competition from online stores into the mix and you’re left with a dangerous cocktail.

And according to recent figures, the hangover is well and truly setting in. The first three months of 2017 saw the biggest quarterly fall in sales since 2010. Thankfully June, with it’s sunnier days, saw a slight bounce back, but the high street needs to work hard to maintain this growth.

But rather than sinking into doom and gloom, our advice to retail managers – and particularly those operating smaller outlets – is to use perfectly pitched lighting to fight back. Let’s not forget shopping is an emotional and sensory experience and the click of a mouse will never produce the same thrills.

At Connected Light, our experience with every kind of store – whether it’s a chain of small grocery outlets, a National Trust gift shop or a boutique jeweller’s – is that emotions are the driving force behind our buying decisions. By making stores as enticing as they can be, we think retailers can capitalise on the emotional experience they have to offer, thereby seducing shoppers into spending. To achieve this, lighting must be ‘king’.

Here are our 7 golden rules for in-store lighting…

1. Consider your brand – who are you appealing to and what atmosphere does your target customer thrive in? Adjust your lighting to encourage shoppers to linger. And, if you operate more than one store – aim to keep the lighting experience consistent and ‘on brand’ no matter which store a shopper finds themself in.

2. Dimmable LEDS give more flexibility than incandescent bulbs or traditional fluorescents. You can play with the brightness and colour temperature in zones, or layers, across the store, influencing how shoppers feel.

3. Contrasting LED lighting, using tracks or spotlights or layers of lighting, gives a more exclusive atmosphere, encouraging shoppers to stick around. (Don’t forget: Monotonous lighting – think of a corner shop – creates a more utilitarian, budget feel.) In short, try to dial up the intensity in areas you want to draw attention to – or perhaps use integrated LED shelf lighting to draw attention to lower shelves and stop them becoming a dead zone.

4. Ditch traditional fluorescent strips. The glaring light and incessant flicker has been linked to headaches, dizziness and disorientation, none of which make a happy shopper.

5. LED lights enable the flexible use of colour temperatures to suit their application and to make shoppers feel positive. When German clothing store Gerry Weber changed their lighting to warm LED spotlights, they kitted out customers with sensors to track their heart rate. Results showed that they were more interested in the products and less stressed. Sales also shot up by 10%.

6. Use warm colours to make an area seem more intimate. Cold colours give an illusion of space. Try to think about appropriate use of colour, too. For example, LEDs can closely mimic natural light to showcase clothing or even jewelry at its best.

7. Position matters. It isn’t just the type of light that counts. The number of fittings and their (precise) positioning is key.

Interested in exploring ways lighting can boost your retail sales? Give us a call – we’d love to talk.