Can lighting really improve the customer experience?
As online stores increase competition and costs for many Aussie retailers, enhancing the customer experience has never been a more important part of retail planning, writes the General Manager of cherryLED, BEN WRIGHT.
Enticing shoppers to purchase in-store requires a retail environment that’s not only inviting but, as many business owners are swiftly realising, small changes in lighting can be the detail that makes a world of difference to the bottom line.
But without calling on a swathe of interior designers, what can small businesses do to present their shop in the best light?
USE A VARIETY OF STYLES THROUGH THE STORE
From elegant table lamps to bright directional globes, modern lighting comes in many shapes and sizes. By choosing the mood you want for an area and lighting it accordingly, a retail space can be transformed. Here are just a few ideas:
- Valence LED lighting around the edges of a room can add ambient natural light without overwhelming the space. It also creates a feeling of elegance without the glare of overhead light
- Table lamps are a wonderful way to give a homely, elegant feel to any space
- Coloured LED lighting can shift the mood of an area, focusing attention on particular displays and allowing space and division throughout the store
- Directional lighting is a great way to highlight merchandise displays and point the customer to particular products
- Natural daylight is the ideal light for viewing colours and artwork. Use windows and natural daylight LED globes to display products in their brightest form
MIX IT UP
An overwhelmingly bright store is expensive to run and can be overpowering for the customer. Contrast is just as important as brightness, with an ideal space offering dark spots and light spots. Settle for a mix of ambient lighting with accent lighting that can direct customers while providing division and space throughout the store. This will provide customers with the best overall impression of products, highlighting those key items, as well as giving the customer the feeling of comfort and privacy to browse.
LOOK TO MODERN LIGHTING CHOICES
A growing trend in retail, and something that most shop owners can organise themselves, is LED lighting. A versatile technology that can easily be integrated into walls, shelves and display cases without worry about damage, LED offers a range of lighting options – from natural daylight, to warm natural hues.
Traditional halogen and incandescent bulbs tend to get very hot, especially when they are on for long periods. By comparison, LED lights are cool to the touch, even when they’ve been running all day – so they can be incorporated into displays, cabinets and small retail spaces without any concern about heat affecting merchandise or causing a safety hazard.
“We chose LED lights to make our hair care products display really pop out,” Shady Dargham, Managing Partner of Lattouf International Hair Salons in Melbourne, told me. ” And because LEDs are energy efficient, we can leave them on overnight so more people see our product range.”
Businesses can also save up to 80 percent on their lighting costs, simply by switching to LED. With globes that last up to 10 times longer than traditional lighting, maintenance costs are reduced and reliability vastly increased. With all the hard work involved in running a retail business, most managers don’t have time to climb ladders and change light bulbs. Not to mention the safety risks.
LED lighting is also better for the environment compared to traditional incandescent and halogen globes. As energy prices skyrocket and commercial concerns for the environment rise, many businesses are moving to LED alternatives. Not only do they reduce emissions but they require very little maintenance.
For best results, choose a light that is engineered in Australia, designed for the specifics of the Australian systems and climate.