It is well-known that people can form first impressions of people, places and objects in less than a second. Usually this is done visually, which requires these things to have the correct light for viewing. What first impression are you creating with the lighting design in your retail location?
The physical characteristics of your store, including its lighting, affect the overall shopping experience. Using specialty store lighting creatively in four key areas can play a role in how often your customers return and the purchasing decisions they make.
Area 1: In Navigation and Functionality
At a minimum, retail lighting should help customers navigate your space easily and find what they need. Exits, fitting rooms and restrooms should be clearly delineated. All merchandise should have enough lighting to read tags and see colors clearly.
When customers are ready to check out, they should find a clear and well-lit path to cash registers. Lighting at the point of purchase should be ample to avoid sales mistakes and to foster conversation between staff and customers.
Area 2: In Highlighting Strengths
Use lighting creatively to highlight displays of high profit merchandise you want to promote. Use stage lighting to show off a specific display along with accent lighting to create dramatic contrasts and strategic shadows.
Use high lighting to take advantage of the strong points of particular merchandise, such as an interesting texture on a specific object.
Area 3: In Drawing in the Eye
Focus your customers’ attention on a specific piece with upward lighting that creates dramatic shadows to draw the eye. This technique should be used sparingly; reserve it for truly special displays or items.
Strategically used colored lighting can be a fun touch, add seasonal flair or highlight your branding elements.
Area 4: In Creating an Inviting Entrance
Your customers’ first impressions of your store begin before they ever step inside. Specialty store lighting for your retail space should start with the parking lot, ensuring that customers feel safe and that they can easily find their cars upon exit. The trip from the car into the store should be seamless, with lighting providing a smooth transition to the interior.
Lighting in exterior window displays can be used in the transition from inside to outside, providing a thread of familiarity as customers enter the store. Additionally, lighting in various colors and intensities can be used to create an entrance that customers remember.
Creative lighting design enhances the retail experience by attracting new customers, encouraging return visits, putting the focus on your brand and enhancing purchasing decisions.
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