Joining the Dots; Shop for Lighting

Shopping is neither on, or offline…

Lighting Company UK

As a specialist lighting retailer we understand that some consumers know exactly what they want whilst others need to explore and educate themselves a little before completing the buying journey.

“We have bridged the gap between online and in store.”

We recognised that consumers want the best of both online and offline worlds and we’ve provided that. We are small independent retailers who believe we should work hard to be useful to shoppers.

We looked at the whole customer journey; from the inspiration stage right through to buying – and beyond. No-one sticks to a single path to shop anymore, we don’t; so why presume that our customers do?

In store, we’ve made it easy with NFC and QR Codes on our tickets. This enables our customers to see price and relevant information whilst in store. They simply need to tap the tickets and be taken to a webpage (via the customers own mobile phone). This then shows all there is to know about that item; for example size and specification information, what it looks good with it, along with other items in the range or that it looks good with.

Julie Driscoll, UK Regional Director, Hyve Group PLC (Spring Fair):Love the use of the NFC codes, and also conducting photo shoots in the store, it must provide such an engaging experience for customers. A place to inspire customers and influencers alike.”

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It’s a style of self-service shopping. Shoppers can then choose to either buy in store or online. This is one little improvement we’ve made which delights and impresses customers.

Our online lighting store has always been an industry leading store, where we embrace all the latest best practices. However, online is not famed for those little ‘bursts of joy’, when you discover something by chance.

Catherine Erdly, Founder of the Resilient Retail Club: “I really like how the Lighting Company have recognised the customer journey and the way it moves between online and offline.  They are clearly passionate about helping their customers pick the best lighting for them.”

“We want online to feel like offline.”

We have some fantastic and invitational ideas in the pipeline.

Our store has those ‘eureaka’ moments in spades, shoppers walk through the door and just love the look and feel of the shop. There is always a lovely little discovery. But how could we let online shoppers feel that too?

We took time during lock-down to further enhanced the physical store (we didn’t furlough the team) with a styling area. This is photographed to allow online shoppers to feel that same excitement, when you discover a look that you love!

When you visit our store you’ll see the stylists working and photography taking place in full view of shoppers. These photoshoots appear on the website, but it’s more than that. Shoppers can suggest and style the area too, allowing their creativity to experiment and see what components of the design idea look like together.

We welcome influencers and bloggers to come and take pictures for their own feeds too.

I guess that really, we simply appreciate that retail has moved on and embrace the changes in how people shop. Our shop is a place for social connections, where we make real-life meetings and bring life and connections back to the fore. We have online chat too and in our own style, (we never use bots) we are real people, speaking to real people. In this digital age, relationships need to be real and at the forefront of everything we do.

Customers are impressed that the boundaries between online and offline are not a barrier to shopping with us. We’ve connected the dots; there isn’t, and shouldn’t be a choice of online and offline shopping, to consumers; it’s just shopping!

Rob Gamage, Managing Director, Modern Retail: “The Lighting Company have clearly put a lot of thought into customer journey, which has helped deliver a great instore experience”

“We make shopping easy, more modern and an experience.”

Customers can choose exactly how much, or how little help they need from retailers. That’s always been the way….”no thank you I’m just browsing”.

We, at The Lighting Company, ensure that those browsers can connect to that help wherever they are, and take how much or little they need. Not everyone is outgoing, some people are shy. We are not all the same and want to shop different ways. Some ask for help others prefer to seek it themselves. We are constantly working to provide a no barrier approach to shopping with us. I think this is novel?

We’ve even got a little carton character Ellie D, who appears on our website she can explain complex topics in a fun informative way for people who don’t like to ask.

How big should my picture light be?

We do everything in-house ourselves, which sees our teams’ technical skills growing every day.

We have lots of engaging displays in store. The website shows which items we display in store, so shoppers know what we have displayed before they travel to see us. We also set up an appointment system during the Covid pandemic (when we were safe to open), to ensure customers who needed to chat to our consultants could do so safely (as we had to limit numbers of people in store at these points) .

Aside from using tech both in store and online, we know that resources from our planet need to be used sparingly. The lighting industry, (not solely us) have transitioned to reducing the amount of energy being used. But we are taking our own steps too.

We care about the planet. We only use LED lightbulbs in our store, paper bags not plastic, tissue paper not bubble wrap. Our head office roof is covered in solar panels and we have electric charging points for use by our staff for charging electric cars.

We are actively working to have completely recycled packaging, for our online deliveries which is an ongoing task. At present, we pack using as small amount of bubble wrap as possible (usually for use on fragile materials, such as glass).

Instead, “we have invested in two machines which make the most out of recycling cardboard.” This is more easily disposed of and less harmful to the environment.

Most of our packaging is made up of scrunch brown paper, which is great for void filling in the boxes or recycled shredded cardboard to add cushioning to parcels. This cardboard which is taken in from some of the businesses nearby; it would otherwise have just been put it in the bin.

Everything in retailing moves forward, it’s been static for so long and we feel as a company the time is right to a new style of shopping for lighting.

The high street needs to wake up to the shifts and cater for shoppers. That means unique and exciting products, a blend of tech and expertise, a pick and mix of service the customer can have on demand help in the format they want.

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