You may have heard the phrase ‘your website is your shop window’. And for a lot of businesses, that’s very true – which is why they invest a lot of time and money in making it flawless. But what if your businesses shop window actually is a shop window? How can you make your wares look enticing enough for busy customers to stop and look, and then come inside? It’s not an easy thing to do, especially in today’s society where there is so much demand on everyone’s time. But today, we have a secret for you.
The key to a good, inviting window display is simple. Lighting. The same goes for the inside of your shop too. While it might seem like a small thing, the lighting choices you make can have a significant impact on how many people come into your shop, how much they buy and even what they choose to buy. So today, we’ve got a few tips that will help you plan out and pick the perfect retail lighting for your business in 4 easy steps.
Know Your Lighting Styles
Accent Lighting: Accent lighting is perfect for the areas of your shop you really want to highlight. Usually this is a prominent display area that you want to draw the customers eye to. Accent lighting can come in a few different forms, from internal cabinet spotlights to spotlights in the ceiling to emphasise racks or free-standing displays.
Task Lighting: this is lighting that has a very specific purpose, and is usually found in areas where more lighting is needed to help employees perform tasks or customers to make important buying decisions. Task lighting is more often found around checkout counters, dressing rooms, service desks and stock rooms.
Decorative Lighting: Decorative lighting is all about the aesthetic. It’s the element of lighting that makes your shop look and feel like a nice place to be. While the previous 2 types of lighting have a specific purpose, decorative lighting is broader, and usually used as a way to continue your branding. For example, a luxury shop might choose to have a chandelier, while a more modern one might opt for pendant lighting in funky designs.
Ambient Lighting: this is arguably the most important, since it’s the main source of light in your shop Ambient lighting fills the gaps between all of the other forms of retail lighting, and ensures that your customers can actually see. It’s also to make your customers feel comfortable, and ensure they can safely explore the entire shop.
Consider Colour Temperature
We talked a bit about colour temperature in our last blog (which you can read here), focussing on what it is and why it matters in a home and office environment. But when it comes to a retail environment, the colour temperature you choose is even more important, because it can change how people view your products. For example, warmer temperatures will make your shop feel cosy and inviting, like walking into a living room with a roaring open fire. Great for very homey shops. Colder tones give off a modern, crisp tone – which makes them great for tech shops like Apple, or brands wanting to create that futuristic feel. What we’re trying to get at is that the colour temperature you choose will set the tone and feel for your entire shop, so it’s a pretty important decision.
Before you run out and start buying fittings and bulbs, you need to know what to buy. The easiest way to work this out is to create a retail lighting plan, where you sketch out your lighting ideas onto a floorplan of your shop. You can do this just by putting tracing paper over your shop blueprints or floorplan, or using digital lighting software if you want something a bit more fancy. Once you have your floorplan, there is a simple 4-step process you can use to work out where everything should go:
- Identify your key display areas: Are your displays going to be mounted on the wall, in the centre of the floor space, or a mixture? These are the areas you should place your accent lighting.
- Mark your workspaces: Any areas where staff will be performing tasks will need to be lit with task lighting solutions. You should also think about task lighting in key customer areas light changing rooms.
- Add some decoration: Now comes the fun part. Think about how you want your shop to look, and let your inner interior designer run wild. Add some decorative flair to your shop wherever you like, to bring a bit of personality and brand identity to the space.
- Fill the gaps: Now that you have the essentials in place, look over your plan carefully. Are there any gaps? Can you see any spaces that might end up being dark, or just on the edge of other lighting, creating dingy pockets of space? This is where your ambient lighting fits in.
Do all of that, and you will end up with a perfectly lit retail shop that’s enticing to customers. Of course, we know that’s not as easy as it sounds. If you’re not sure of where to start, or you want some help getting the planning and installation done, we would love to help. At HRHislop we have years of experience planning and installing commercial lighting, from warehouse solutions to high-end shop fronts and everything in between. Our experts are always on hand to offer advice and support about lighting types, fixtures and angles, as well as the best ways to wire it all together safely and efficiently. If you’d like to know more about our retail lighting solutions, just get in touch with the team today.