Dazzling Retail Displays: Decorate with LEDs

Retail store owners hoping for a way to boost sales may want to consider something other than mailbox fliers and advertising campaigns. There’s a way to dazzle your customers so they won’t just walk on by. This type of visual merchandising is eye-catching, creative, safe, and a cost-effective marketing tool—LED decorative lights.

A Sweet Marketing Tool

It’s hard to imagine anything that could improve the look of artisan chocolate truffles, but this store owner in Wisconsin knew that an attractive window display and store exterior were viable marketing tools for her chocolates. Fazio’s Chocolate Shop used G40 frosted LED lights to complement the visual appeal of their delectable sweets.

Fazio's Chocolate, Window Display   Fazio's Chocolate, Window Display Detail

Exterior and Window Display Lighting

According to Entrepreneur magazine, the exterior and display windows are the first things that are noticed about a shop. Product is definitely on display, but product is secondary. Communication, atmosphere, and creating a personality for your business are the primary goals of retail displays.

When creating a window display, Jane Porter in another Entrepreneur article, suggests a few guidelines:

    • Don’t be predictable. Use unique, whimsical objects that can be grouped with your product to tell a story.
    • Avoid clutter in your display.
    • Determine optimal placement by standing in the street and noting where your eye falls. Mark this with tape. If you have 2 window displays, remember that prime placement is to the right of the entranceway.
    • Update your displays frequently. Your shop will be noticed more often.
    • Use lighting to stand out. Avoid hanging lights directly above a product since it can create shadows. Highlight products that are focal points.

Linda Cahan, an Oregon-based design consultant also advises that decorative lighting should be left on at night, even after hours. “If you are the only place with your lights on, you will be the only store people see. You’ll be like a beacon of visual stimulation.” Energy-efficient LEDs make it possible to keep the lights on 24/7 without breaking the bank. Store owner, Tom Ferarro, spent $2,900 more using LED’s, but the bulbs will last 50,000 hours—about 10 times as long as halogens. Cahan adds that Ferraro “pays about a fourth as much for electricity as he would have with halogen bulbs. Also, in many states, retailers can get tax rebates for LED lighting, adding to their savings.”

easter window
Photo credit: littlegreen via Flickr

Interior Product Display Lighting

Visual merchandising should appeal to more than one of the 5 senses. Similar items should be grouped together. According to Humayun Khan of Shopify’s Ecommerce University, “Follow the rule of three and group sets of 3 together in an asymmetrical arrangement, which captivates attention.“ Khan further advises that lighting sets the mood for a display.

Decorative LED lighting for interior product displays can be inside cabinetry or display cases to showcase products. Delicate LED mini lights, cool to the touch and safe, can be placed under a glass countertop to showcase and subtly illuminate products. They can be hung over the featured merchandise, roped along a window sill, or even twined directly on or around the product. Retailers wanting to create a distinct ambiance can use rope lighting along a staircase railing or floorboard to illuminate the pathway to more merchandise on the next level. Safe and durable LEDs are perfect for this application.

In wineries or restaurants, LED lighting can be placed around the wine display rack to show off the wines and liquors. G12 purple LEDs look like grapes and are a colorful addition for wine displays.

Retail shops, pubs, clothing stores, chocolate shops, florists, bakeries, and many more types of businesses are discovering that decorating LED lights act like a billboard for their business. Numerous options for shapes, sizes, and colors allow the lights to be customized to seasonal displays, or to complement brand colors and product packaging.

When it comes to visual merchandising, decorative LED lights from Holiday LEDs are a sweet asset to add to a marketing toolkit—a cost effective, versatile way to dazzle customers and entice them to take notice.