The Ideal Retail Shopping Environment to Increase Sales

According to Turnbull and Scott, studies indicate that approximately 85 percent of people prefer to shop in a brick and mortar shop compared to online. This is surprising news, considering the increased popularity of mobile and online shopping. However, retail shops have their work cut out for them. A key factor in obtaining and maintaining customers is to provide the best overall shopping experience possible.

Additionally, a recent article by Holophane has cited studies indicating that the longer shoppers remain in a store, the more money they are likely to spend. Clearly, it is in the retailer’s best interest to create the perfect shopping environment possible. Below, I’ve listed some key factors to consider when creating the perfect shopping world.


The general layout of the retail shop is the first thing a customer will notice when they walk in the store. Consider the kind of retail shop the store is, and cater to the specific demographic being targeted. Consider putting the most interesting items in front to draw the customer into the store.


Visibility in the retail space is key to helping consumers identify differences in products. According to Holophane, “Lighting quality and quantity define visibility.” Too little light could prevent customers from comparing and possibly purchasing products. Too might light could make shoppers uncomfortable and waste unnecessary dollars on unneeded energy. Typically, large products on display in an open environment- such as a car or sofa- will need less lighting than smaller products, such as jewelry.

Color rendering is another crucial factor in retail shops. When purchasing lighting, the retailer should check the color-rendering index (CRI). The higher the CRI, the closer to natural the colors in objects will appear. For example, a light source with a CRI of near 100 has rendering capabilities similar to daylight.


Although indoor temperatures tend to change based on seasons, it is a good rule of thumb to keep retail shops lower in temperature. This will take into consideration customers wearing coats or outerwear coming in from outside.

Ambient Edge recommends that retailers have their heating and cooling systems checked on an annual basis. This will help to predict or prevent any major disturbances in the operation of the heating and cooling system throughout the year.


Sound can have a significant impact on the shopping environment. Retailers should pay particular attention to the volume and quality of music being played, as well as the actual genre of the music. Although music and volume preferences can vary greatly, retailers can satisfy the most amount of people by catering their selections to the tastes of the majority of the customers.

Additionally, retailers should pay special attention to nuisance sounds, sounds that are a result of a malfunction or generally considered unnecessary. A buzzing light fixture, squeaky door, or crackling intercom can all have a negative impact on the customer’s overall experience without them even realizing it.