One of the many knock-on benefits of energy efficiency is an improved customer experience. Energy efficiency projects can help you showcase products better, make customers feel more at home, and demonstrate your company’s commitment to sustainability. All of that adds up to customers who want to come to visit your business, stay longer, come back and even tell their friends about it.
With a range of looks to choose from, LED lighting can help optimize the appearance of merchandise. Light emitting from LED bulbs is flexible and shows truer colours, making food more appetizing and clothes more appealing, and creating a more welcoming environment for customers. Clothing retailers, for example, find that lighting upgrades actually reduce returns as there’s less chance of buyer’s regret because the clothes look the same at home as they do in the store.
Even the famed McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg tapped into Save on Energy incentives to install new LED lighting, finding that LEDs provided improved colour rendition for its collection of Canadian art and sculpture and reduced the amount of potentially damaging heat from the old lighting system.
Putting a fresh light on things can inspire even more change. Hiker’s Haven, a sporting goods store in Oakville, found that their lighting upgrade generated such positive feedback from customers that it inspired them to make other improvements.
“The new lighting makes us want to keep the store cleaner, brighter and make it even better,” says store manager Lisa Raftis. “We did the lighting, and people –including customers – were commenting on how much better it looks, so now it’s encouraged us to keep improving it. The subsequent changes we’ve made at the store have largely been due to the new lighting.”
Grocers are ever vigilant to maintain the quality of meat and produce on display. Energy efficiency can play a big role in keeping products fresher, longer.
For starters, the quality of the light can actually reduce spoilage costs. Since LED lighting doesn’t emit UV light, fresh produce doesn’t age as quickly.
In addition, updating refrigeration systems can also improve product quality significantly. For example, an efficient freezer that has less temperature fluctuation can eliminate the formation of crystals on ice cream. Commercial upright freezers with glass doors improve the shelf life of products – while also increasing product visibility, SKU density as well as customer dwell times in the freezer aisle – all leading to increased sales.
Better lighting is also reassuring to customers. Think about the weary traveller arriving at a hotel late at night. Bright lighting in parking lots, walkways and balconies makes these public spaces more welcoming (plus making it easier for customers to find their cars at night).
Brighter, more uniform lighting, especially in stairways and outdoor areas, can also typically translate into fewer slips and falls, and reduced vandalism. Adding motion sensors can save more energy, plus improve security at night, without wasting energy from keeping the lights on all the time.
Plus, since LED lighting lasts longer, less maintenance is required, so staff can spend less time on ladders, reducing the risk of falls.
Energy efficiency also shows your customers your organization’s commitment to being a good corporate citizen. If you have an energy management program in place, don’t be shy. Tell your customers about it.
Some retailers, for example, take steps to reduce their energy use specifically during periods of high demand, to lessen the strain on the power system as a whole.
They develop signage to put in their stores to explain to customers that if it’s a hot day and some of the lights are off, that’s the reason; Retailers find that this explanation can go a long way in boosting customer support for energy-saving efforts.
Remember, when you take on energy-saving projects, your customers are bound to notice. Taking a few simple steps to improve your energy efficiency can become a major revenue driver for any business.