Specialty store lights should add drama and excitement to the customer shopping experience in order to boost sales by attracting and intriguing the target market. Lighting is an effective marketing tool. What impression is your retail outlet trying to create? Is it working?
Identify Your Target Market
If you focus your brand, advertising, décor and lighting on your target market, you are going to outsell your competition. Make sure you know who your target market is.
Who are your current customers? Observe them and watch for commonalities, such as age, gender, ethnic group, income level, education level, marital or family status, and occupation. Consider the needs of your customers—hobbies, lifestyles and so on—and determine how, when and why they will use your products and how they like to shop.
Check out your competition. Try to narrow your market to appeal to more of your preferred clients than your competition does.
Make sure you are catering to the group that is most likely to shop in your store and spend the most money. Make sure they are happy. Ask them for feedback.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Living in the Past
A lot of retailer marketers are in their 20’s and early 30’s and don’t understand the buying needs of the other generations, especially older people.
Some retailers imagine that 50-year-old women still dress like matrons and don’t understand that those days are long gone. Women today are likely to be businesswomen or spend a lot of time outside the home, and are very active. They wear makeup, dress fashionably, participate in sports, and use electronic gadgetry.
Women age 35 to 55 comprise a very large group of shoppers and like simplicity and efficiency, and are less impulsive than those in the youth market. The youth buyer ranges in ages 13 to 19 (teens), 18 to 24 (college), and 21 to 35 (young professional) and is looking for classless luxury, style, chic and a sense of belonging.
Gear Lighting Design to the Shopping Style of Your Target Market
If you have a specialty store, you can expect your target market to respond favorably to lighting that enhances their shopping style.
The size of a specialty stores is small to very small, which means light levels should be lower than those used in warehouse or department stores and help create a more intimate, upscale atmosphere. Choose from the range of 20 to 40 foot candles.
Young people like to browse and older customers don’t want to be hurried. A lower light level slows the shopping pace and helps make browsing feel comfortable.
Dramatic uses of color and accent lights add to the emotional appeal for all shoppers. For the youth market, razzle-dazzle is appealing, and very bright accent lights, colored lights, and theatrical uplights are perfect.
Customers in their middle years like simplicity and efficiency, and don’t want to waste time; they expect to shop, purchase and leave. Make sure the lighting allows them to examine merchandise easily, read instructions and prices with no difficulty and locate what they need without any problems.
Shoppers Today are Looking for an Experience
Special lighting emphasizes the uniqueness of your store and its merchandise. Accent, color and dramatic effects are used to good advantage.
How the color of light impacts shoppers:
- Warm white creates a homey, intimate feeling, and conveys comfort and safety.
- Natural white and daylight tones with a color rendering index close to 100 are best for examining the color and texture of merchandise.
- Cool white is great for making an area look more spacious, and adds emphases to the sparkle of jewelry and glassware, metal and hardware.
Rope, cove, and strip lighting offer an endless variety of style options:
- Rope lights are great for tight spots in ceilings, handrails and other oddly shaped areas.
- Cove lighting can be used as part of the ambient, or general, lighting. It is dramatic when used as indirect lighting built into ledges and valances, and can direct light towards the ceiling or on special architectural features. It can make a space look more formal, cooler and calmer.
- Strip lighting is great for small spaces like small display cases, especially when adding more heat is undesirable.
Windows displays are great for attracting potential customers and help to establish your brand and image:
- Use high light levels and eye-catching contrast to draw attention to the merchandise.
- Window accent lighting should be 10 to 30 times greater than the background.
- The more sophisticated the store, the more muted the ambient lighting should be.
A skilled lighting designer can help you make the decisions you need to upgrade your specialty store lights to appeal to your target market. Happy shoppers will recommend your store—it’s your best form of advertising, and it’s free!
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