When you’re a retailer, it’s crucial to employ every trick in your armoury to increase trade. One way to help retailers display and sell their wares is to bathe the store in natural light.
Research has shown retail daylight benefits the bottom line. Not only do sales increase, but the concentration and performance of employees also improves, compared with stores where only artificial light is used.
Shoppers tend to stay longer and spend more, according to a body of research, because the natural light is less harsh, promoting a greater sense of well-being, while the presentation of the products is by far superior.
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Does natural light improve the shopping experience?
Natural light makes a store look more appealing by showing off the products more effectively, according to a study by the Eneref Institute. Improving the appearance of stores, it creates a calmer and more pleasant ambience that many shoppers prefer.
This is because daylight creates a welcoming environment, where shoppers will enjoy relaxing while they browse. A positive in-store experience leads to more sales in general. Unlike artificial light, daylight makes all kinds of products reflect their true colours. Shoppers will feel more confident in the product.
A study by retail giant Walmart involved installing skylights in half its stores’ roofs. The products located under the skylights sold better than the products displayed under fluorescent electric lights. Things were rotated regularly to prove this theory. Sure enough, the sales of products previously displayed under artificial lights increased when they were moved to a new spot under a skylight, where they were bathed in natural daylight.
The Daylight and Retail Sales report, produced by the California Energy Commission, studied 73 retail stores, comparing sales in the 24 that were lit by natural daylight with sales in the remainder, where there were artificial lights. The study found that longer hours of daylight in stores were associated strongly with increased sales. In the stores with electric lighting, sales remained constant at all times.
Shops lit by natural light experienced sales increases of up to 40% during periods of long, sunny days, compared with periods of dull days, when poor light meant the electric lights had to go on earlier.
The study also concluded that the value of the energy savings further complemented the increase in sales. The most conservative estimate suggested the profit from increased sales was worth 19 times more than the energy savings alone, resulting in a massive windfall for the retailers.
How does more natural light make employees feel?
Studies have found employees are more productive when working in natural light, because it creates a healthier and more pleasant working environment. Employees and store managers interviewed for the Daylight and Retail Sales report said they felt more satisfied with the natural lighting quality when compared with artificial lights.
More than 1,100 employees were interviewed. The lighting quality in stores with natural daylight scored higher than those with electric lights when employees were asked if the brightness and ambience were “comfortable”. The stores with artificial light were described as “uncomfortably bright” by some respondents.
Employees working in natural daylight said they found it easier to examine details on the merchandise. They didn’t experience awkward glares or reflections on display cabinets and rails. They also said the absence of “flickering” electric lights and the “annoying hum” that emitted from them also made their working day more pleasant.
The daylit stores on average tended to have higher illumination levels than the non-daylit stores. Working in a more pleasant environment increased employee satisfaction and therefore their productivity.
How can solar glazing help?
Solar glazing enables sunlight to pass through the shop window or façade, while reflecting away much of the sun’s heat. This keeps the indoor space bright and prevents the temperature from becoming too warm, as it might if ordinary glass is used. Improving energy efficiency, less air conditioning and interior lighting is needed.
With a choice of colours and appearances to satisfy multiple applications; Commercial Aluminium Shopfronts’ solar control glass products combine light transmission, solar control and low solar heat gain benefits.
Solar glazing can also help prolong the life of products displayed in the shopfront, preventing the colour from fading in fabrics and clothing, and helping to stop food from going stale before the end of its shelf life. This means there is less wastage, and improved profit margins!
We offer a wide range of solar glazing options for shopfronts, depending on client requirements. Our solar glazing options provide several benefits including high levels of natural light, reduced solar heat gain, high transparency, reduced glare and appealing aesthetics.