Traditional commercial spaces face an unprecedented challenge: The creation of differentiating experiences that go beyond the display and sale of products. Stimulating the senses of potential buyers has become a fundamental practice to attract their attention: This includes things like smells, temperature and lighting. Details matter.
In this sense, visual merchandising represents a key element within the world of retail. A discipline that brings together psychology, marketing, design and technical aspects, with the aim of stimulating consumption at the point of sale without losing the focus on the brand's values.
The change of mentality in commercial lighting
Despite the importance of online sales, physical stores continue to represent an essential sales channel thanks to their potential for direct communication with customers. Commercial spaces represent the essence of brands through a friendly design adapted to consumers. Therefore, lighting plays a fundamental role in the creation of the new retail concepts. Its main benefits are:
- Brand creation: Lighting that is designed in alignment with the personality and objectives of the brand will help build a differentiated environment that can also be identifiable by customers.
- Optimisation: Lighting should enhance the elements on display, but it is also essential that it helps to optimise circulation at the point of sale. Beyond criteria related to energy efficiency, the choice of the right lighting for each item on display must be the backbone of a good lighting strategy in any commercial space (clothing, food, technology stores, etc.). We can use light sources with a specific light spectrum by means of special LEDs to enhance white colours, something that is very useful for fashion stores, or use more vivid shades such as red hues to enhance the appearance of meat, or blue ones, which are very useful to bring out the best in fish.
- Dynamisation: Commercial lighting designs can offer strategies for energising commercial and exhibition spaces. The use of dynamic lighting which changes its colour temperature (CCT) depending on the season of the year, the prevailing shades or even the time of day, can better dinamise spaces. These strategies can help smooth the flow of users in the store at peak traffic, or conversely, attract customers when the shop is quieter, similarly to the way other elements are used in neuromarketing, for example, music.
Commercial lighting design adapted to each space
Illumination of common areas and corridors
In general, light in these areas has a functional focus, as part of which an appropriate lighting approach will have a direct impact on the customers' sense of comfort and therefore in their purchasing decisions, by improving the in-store experience. In this sense, adaptation is a fundamental element and therefore, the following must be taken into account:
- The use of spaces
It is best to combine layers of more uniform illumination with accent lighting elements to guide users' attention to particular elements.
Shop window lighting
Shop windows are an element of attraction that has a strong emotional impact on the user, hence the importance of lighting design for these spaces, to generate an element that excites and attracts attention.
From a technical point of view, the lighting of a shop window must meet the most demanding colour reproduction requirements with a high Colour Rendering Index (CRI) that enables a correct perception of the products without forgetting about the aesthetic component. It is also important to have flexible and adaptable lighting systems such as track luminaires, which will add versatility to the installation, as they can be moved to adapt to the design changes that occur in different seasons. In addition, the installation of luminaires with different luminous flux levels and optics will make it possible to create more or less dramatic effects by playing with shadows of different hardness according to the desired effect, thus tackling this more flexible element of lighting.
When deciding how to light a store, it is important to focus on the following goals:
- Guiding the customer through the space and making them feel comfortable. An effective lighting strategy must be aligned with the brand's customer journey, that is, the process that a customer goes through before acquiring a product or service. In the new digital context, this journey may begin at online portals, so channel integration is essential. By varying the intensity of the luminous fluxes or the colour temperature of the light used, we can direct the customer towards the points of interest that the brand considers most relevant within the global shopping experience in a fluid and natural way.
- Identify the different areas and commercial spaces. Intelligent lighting management systems are a major advantage, enabling variations in lighting to be created from a single digital device according to specific needs, without the need to replace luminaires or other elements of the installation. Adaptability is key to design and cost savings.
At Lamp, we have extensive experience collaborating with the teams being responsible for commercial lighting projects. In this field, we add value to each project by developing tailor-made lighting solutions for each application.