How does lighting affect sales in retail?
How does lighting affect sales in retail?
Whether you are lighting your store or your exhibition stands,
retail display lighting is an essential consideration. There is science behind the impact of design
in retail. There is a whole load of
proof that a well-designed store will achieve much higher sales than one with a
tired interior. It makes sense too that
an interestingly lighted store will also encourage return visits and so bolster
Ultimately, investment in the right lighting in your store
could pay for itself. The boost in sales
could easily offer a complete return on your investment. This is not only about
energy efficiency, which in a time of high utility costs, is significant. It is also about the customer
experience. Let’s explore the impact
of lighting in more depth.
Lighting keeps the customer on track
With a combination of dimmed light and bright accent
lighting, you can guide your customer to the most critical retail units in your
store. Not only is the level of
brightness significant in this, but also the hues you select. You should try to choose both colours in the
cooler spectrum to act as a highlight to those lights that are bright and
warm. The customer will naturally be
drawn to those warmer, cosier areas of the store – therefore, subliminally
guided to your feature pieces that will make you the most revenue.
Your lighting fixtures are also an important representation
of your brand. If you hand industrial
light shades from the ceiling, you are creating the look of a loft. This could be the perfect branding for a BoHo
wine store looking to be edgy and cool.
Wall fixtures can, in contrast, make the same store feel quite intimate
and for a more sophisticated audience.
The lighting can be an instantaneous way of communicating the brand.
Research leads to decision-making
Stores such as Sainsbury’s
and Marks and Spencer have made
wholesale changes to LED lighting.
Neither store is happy to say that any increase in sales they have
enjoyed since this installation is a result of the lighting change. They note that there are too many variables
to make this claim. However, they have experienced
an uptick in sales since the move.
However, the experience revealed in research proved that
their lighting choices could have had an impact on the bottom line. A 21-week research project in The Netherlands
noted that LED lighting scenarios did affect buying behaviour. Although the research was funded by Philips
lighting, the research agency employed presented evidence of an increase in
profit that more than made up for the investment in a lighting change. The headline conclusion from the study
reported that an almost 2% increase in sales could be attributed to the dynamic
How can you use lighting?
Research suggests that there are six ways to use lighting to
improve sales. You could:
- Use contrast: contrast is your friend because
you can use the light to heighten levels of interest and attention to certain
parts of your store. This means you can
play with the perception of the customer, who may see some areas of your store
- Use colour temperature: lighting can be cool and
warm – with blue-based lights being colder than yellow-based lighting. Blue based lighting has a more natural feel
and is more conducive to long periods of browsing. However, warmer colours give the impression
of intimacy and comfort. Changing the
colour temperature could have a significant impact on your customer's
experience of the space.
- Distribute light effectively: the way you
orientate your lighting can act to guide the customer around the story. If you have ever wandered around IKEA, you will be aware of being guided
through the maze of the showroom and then the warehouse by the skilful
placement and direction of the lights.
- Make the window most dramatic: using accented
light in the window can have a powerful effect on your curb appeal. Using low-level illuminance in the daytime
can save you money, while the odd spotlight in the evening can make your store
- Dim your lighting: dynamic lighting on the lower
shelves could have the effect of drawing the customer's attention to your
bottom shelves and so linger longer. The
longer the customer is in the store, the higher the percentage chance for
conversion to a sale.
- Bright backlighting: sometimes it is less about
subtlety and more about drama. Using a
wide-area backlight of the shelves can produce an attractive lighting effect to
draw the attention of the customer.
Extended reading resource:-
How to use retail lighting to impact your product sales