Increased foot traffic, improved revenue, and a more welcoming storefront are all key benefits of daylighting for retailers. Over the last decade, big-box retailers have committed to natural light due to its proven sales and marketing benefits.
From Wal-Mart to Target, learn the secret tactics of natural lighting used by big-box retailers to sell more products, attract more customers, and create a more appealing retail experience.
1. Place sale items in naturally lit areas
In the 1990s, Wal-Mart started to experiment with natural lighting as a way to lower its energy consumption and reduce expenses. In doing so, its executives realized one of the most surprising laws of retail sales: natural light makes products look better.
Almost immediately after incorporating natural lighting into certain areas, big-box retailers noticed that products placed under skylights sold in higher numbers than products stored under artificial lighting.
The lesson is simple: use natural lighting to showcase products that you’d like to sell in large numbers. This is a great tactic for getting the most out of your next big retail sale or other event.
2. Light your checkout counters naturally
Just like natural light can make certain products more appealing, natural lighting is a great tool for making your checkout counters more welcoming. Light your counters naturally and you’ll increase foot traffic – and sales figures – for your store.
This tactic comes down to a simple truth of human psychology: people feel as if they are more welcomed when they see someone lit using natural light. Artificial light is a cold, unwelcoming look, while natural light makes people look more approachable.
The same tactic can be used to encourage customers to interact with your floor staff and sales team. Light people naturally and they look more approachable to potential customers, reducing the social barriers that prevent people from asking questions.
3. Time your lights to compensate for lost sunlight
It’s difficult to light a big-box retail store using only natural light. In the morning, the level of ambient light simply isn’t great enough to light the entire store – a fact that’s equally as apparent at night.
To avoid leaving your store half-lit, you can use artificial lighting to compensate for lost natural light. Time your lighting system to automatically respond to declines in natural light and you’ll be able to maintain the same level of lightness at all times.
4. Use skylights to spread light throughout your store
Skylights are an excellent choice for large big-box retail stores where products are often stored far from exterior windows. As well as allowing you to light sections of your store that are far from the edges, skylights make it easy to control the internal light levels of your store.
Talk to your daylighting provider about lighting your store using filtered skylights and other daylighting options. Skylights are an excellent choice for creating a retail environment that’s evenly lit and comfortable in all sections of your store.
5. Keep entrances light, bright, and welcoming
Marketers have spent decades optimizing their advertisements and billboards to get more people into their stores, but just a fraction of the amount of time testing their entrances to see which is the most inviting for visitors.
Just like natural light makes sales associates and checkout staff more approachable, a store entrance that’s lit naturally feels more approachable and welcoming than an artificially lit, overly ‘cold’ feeling store entrance.
Use natural light to keep the entrance to your store bright and welcoming in every hour of the day, and you’ll enjoy a greater amount of foot traffic fueled by customers that are truly interested in shopping in your store.
6. Test products placed under and out of natural light
One of the best ways to increase sales of certain products is to test them stored in a naturally lit, and artificially lit, area of your store. Using the same principles of Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers, you should be able to improve sales by placing a product in a naturally lit section of your store.
This technique is a great way to increase sales of certain products and avoid wasting money on unsold inventory. Instruct your sales team to rotate products and see if an otherwise unsuccessful product can be turned around using appealing natural light.
7. Don’t be afraid to continue using artificial lighting
Artificial lighting isn’t a bad thing – from making up for lost natural light to showing off certain products, it certainly has its benefits. While it’s worth investing in natural
lighting for your store, don’t be afraid to switch on your artificial lighting system on an overcast, sunless day.
Remember that daylighting systems are both a replacement for artificial lighting and a complement. If the weather is making it difficult to light your retail store naturally, switch on your artificial lighting to achieve a desirable level of lightness.
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