Imagine walking into a retail store and hearing nothing but perhaps the hum of an air conditioning unit or the clacking of the cashier’s nails on the counter. Sounds awkward and uncomfortable, right? Or, imagine a shopper visits an upscale boutique and the music is way too loud or uses vulgar language. It certainly wouldn’t be the type of atmosphere that would keep a customer for even one visit, much less coming back for more.
Most of today’s shoppers are used to some sort of in-store audio—specifically music. The lack of something playing overhead can leave shoppers feeling confused, unwelcome, and likely headed towards the competition.
Most retailers spend countless hours and resources perfecting their store atmosphere. In-store audio can play a key role in that atmosphere if done correctly. The right audio can put shoppers in the mood to buy, reinforce brand image, bring more customers into the business, and, ultimately, increase the opportunity to make a sale.
Here are 4 reasons playing the right in-store audio can be just the right addition to any retail mix.
- Define, Brand and Create the Atmosphere
Consider the brand identity before pressing play on any sort of in-store audio. Is the brand carefree and laid back? Or does it tend to be edgy and modern? The music and tone of in-store audio and announcements can reinforce or create the brand identity with customers before they even open the door. It’s often enough to hear a few bars of music, or a brief announcement, for a shopper to know whether a particular brand is the one for them.
Today’s brick and mortar retailers are seeing ever increasing competition from e-commerce. The tone of in-store music and announcements can be key in creating the full retail experience that makes customers want to come back. A report from VisionCritical found that 79% of small retailers say ceasing to play music would damage the store’s atmosphere. Think about who the target customer is and create the atmosphere around them. Is it a teen clothing boutique? Top 40 songs and a younger, more upbeat voice for announcements sets a fun, energetic atmosphere perfect for that demographic.
- Control the Pace
Study after study show that the natural inclination to hearing a fast tempo tune is to increase speed, while music with a slower pace can slow customers down. For retailers, that knowledge can be critical. Play a song with too fast of a tempo and customers are rushing through the aisles, potentially missing important items and leaving without a purchase. And yet, if the tempo is too slow? Customers could stick around for much longer than desired, creating long wait times and crowded spaces.
Creating a specially curated playlist that features songs of a specific pace at a specific time of day can either keep customers moving about the store at an efficient pace during higher traffic times or slowing them down when needed.
- Encourage The Purchase
According to the same research from VisionCritical, 76% of small retailers believe they can positively influence the behavior of customers through music. And they are, for the most part, right. Music has been shown to have a subconscious, but real, impact on buying behavior. Announcements can play a key role here. For example, a shopper may walk by a sign that promotes a current deal or a sale, and they may never even glance at it. However, once they hear it over the loudspeaker, that may be just the thing to bring them to the point of sale.
- It’s Not Just For The Shoppers…
In-store audio isn’t just there for the customer. It can also serve to boost the morale, attitude and productivity of the staff. A recent research study found that 77% of of managers/business owners agreed that allowing staff to listen to music enhances productivity. But it should be the right kind of music—which goes back to brand, of course. Employees should reflect the brand and the type of customer the store is looking to attract. As such, their music tastes should be aligned with that of the customer. Music is an easy, inexpensive way to keep employees happy and productive.
For today’s retailers, the right music and in-store announcements can be just the thing to drive sales, define the brand, and keep internal morale high. However, selecting the wrong style can be devastating. It’s important to find a partner that can help to curate the right soundtrack for a retail business, or the next sound could very well be a dissatisfied customer walking out.
Interested in learning more? Request a demo of Vibenomics today and learn how you can start creating on-brand music and messaging for your in-store customers.