Philips Lighting partnered with Globus, a major grocery retailer in Germany, in a joint research project to measure the positive effects of lighting on shopper behaviour. The successful study revealed a 6% increase in sales and a 15% boost in traffic to the store’s promotional area.

Working in collaboration with German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence DFKI and EIT Digital, Philips Lighting conducted a series of experiments at the Globus supermarket in Saarbrücken to study the impact of different combinations of coloured lighting on sales and customer behaviour. The results showed that using coloured uplights together with Philips StoreWise lighting system helped increase sales while enabling energy savings of up to 75% compared to conventional lighting.

The study, which was conducted over two months, saw the researchers test different lighting conditions at the supermarket’s 180m² promotional display area that was equipped with Philips StoreWise and Philips LED lighting. Three settings were tested: the store’s uniform overhead lighting, regular spotlights and a combination of spotlights with pastel coloured uplights. 

The study revealed that the spotlights with pastel coloured uplights was the most effective setting for drawing shoppers to the display area, seen in the 6% increase in sales of goods. The same combination of coloured lights created the best stopping power for the promotional area and increased customer visits by 15%, compared to the standard store lighting. Customer visits increased by 7% when conventional lighting was replaced by spotlights alone.

Gonneke Gros, Segment Lead Food and Large Retail, Philips Lighting, explains that adding soft pastel colours to highlight products is a potential game-changer for the retail industry. With research proving for the first time how different lighting conditions can affect shopper behaviour and drive increased store revenues, combined with the availability of new lighting systems such as Philips StoreWise and Philips’ indoor positioning system, retailers are now expected to analyse sales and traffic data within their store in real-time and adjust the lighting conditions to optimise sales. 

Traditional store lighting relies on the use of uniform, white, overhead lighting. The research showed that the 58 spotlights used in the experiment strengthened the appearance of products by increasing contrast. Adding coloured uplighting (aimed at the ceiling) as well, helped differentiate the promotional zone and make it more visible even from a distance.

According to Norbert Scheller, Store Manager at Globus supermarket in Saarbrücken, retailers have to create a multi-sensory environment and a ‘wow-factor’ in their stores to stay ahead of the competition. He adds that the collaboration with Philips Lighting has helped them realise the immense potential of lighting, which they now use to create triggers to direct customers to promotional areas in their store and to inspire them in new ways.

This new study reaffirms earlier findings from Philips Lighting research showing that soft pastel colours make customers feel happier and more comfortable when shopping, while saturated colours increase stress levels.

Image: Philips Lighting shows pastel coloured uplights at EuroShop 2017