Today, physical retail stores must optimize the customer experience to stay relevant amidst a myriad of shopping options from online, mobile and of course, Amazon. To accomplish this, every aspect of the sales floor must be carefully curated to exceed the already high expectations of fickle consumers. Otherwise, why not simply make purchases from the convenience of your home or smart device when and wherever you prefer.
One specific challenge that physical retailers have to address is the ability for websites to rapidly adjust their product mix based on purchasing data. This means sales floors have to become more flexible and appealing to leverage their primary advantage – the ability to actually touch, try, and purchase on the spot. Lighting plays an important role to ensure optimal product visibility while also creating a sense of theatre in-store. Advanced lighting systems have also promised to become “smart networks” using sensors, cameras, and analytics to report critical data on shopper behavior and the physical environment.
With the advent of LED based lighting fixtures, everyone has already seen the opportunity to lower utility costs with simple upgrade kits. As a semiconductor (chip-on-board), LED’s are not bulbs and should not be treated as such. They require low voltage DC power to drive them and have great ability to control direction and color. They are miniature and do not require a bulky housing architecture so you can bring them much closer to merchandise thus requiring significantly less power to create vastly enhanced overall light quality and CRI. Preliminary tests seem to indicate better light correlates to increased sales.
To accomplish this, retailers and the lighting industry must completely rethink their century old architecture. For instance, most lighting fixtures you can purchase today were engineered/designed to house technology that is up to 100 years old…bulbs of one sort or another. This doesn’t maximize performance of LED’s that are directional unlike bulbs that emit light at 360 degrees.
Innovative, new low voltage lighting systems were designed post LED to more fully harness their advantages. LumaNEXT has even created modular track lighting solutions that simply snap into drop ceiling grid without tools and fastening hardware so retailers can quickly adapt to changing merchandising requirements. Using lightweight, slim housings, low cost linear applications typically seen in big box, mass stores can perform more like specialty pendant lights you see at luxury boutiques.
Do not waste energy…bring the light directly where it is needed – to the merchandise. And use today’s great software technology to put all the control at your fingertips.