Picture standing in the grocery aisle trying to determine which cereal to buy when a new song comes on the overhead speakers. Suddenly, the person to the left breaks out into a full break dance routine!
Okay, so maybe in-store audio doesn’t have THAT big of an impact. Though, really, how awesome would it be if it did? But, just because the effect isn’t that apparent, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Music and other forms of in-store audio can have a profound effect on the way shoppers buy, their mood, the way they move about the store and many other behaviors. If used correctly, all of the impact that audio has can be a move towards the positive.
When it comes to using in-store audio to enhance and improve the customer experience, there is more to it than shuffling a list of personal favorite tunes. Not that “Ultimate Playlist from Spring Break 2001” isn’t a fantastic compilation, but let’s think a little bigger.
Here are 5 effects that in-store audio can have on customers and tips for how to manage those effects to ensure the best possible customer experience.
Targeting Ideal Customers
One of the most impactful effects in-store audio can have on customers is pulling in the target market. When selecting the playlist, business owners should consider who they are targeting. The music should reflect the interests and tastes of that group to make them feel welcome. Cutting edge and modern? Twangy country may not be the tune that attracts and retains that crowd. The same goes for the tone and content of in-store announcements. Think about the way target customers speak and cater to that.
Pace and Tempo
There has been study after study on the impact of music tempo on people. The conclusion? People move faster when the tempo picks up. Customers or guests pick up their shopping pace when the music speeds up. That effect on customers can be extremely important for business owners to take note of. For instance, if the playlist has a fast tempo, customers may be rushing through the aisles, potentially missing important items and leaving without a purchase. If the tempo is too slow? There is an increased risk of customers sticking around for much longer than desired, taking up space at tables or in other areas of the business. Read more about the impact of tempo here.
A custom, in-store playlist can help businesses reinforce their brand identity and recognition. Particularly if the store is one in a franchise or there are many locations, keeping the music and the announcement tone similar among locations can create much needed consistency. Customers want to have confidence they will have the same positive customer experience, regardless of what store they are in. Even the simple effect of familiar in-store audio can help to accomplish that.
In-store audio can also impact if and how customers spend money. For example, many customers will walk by even the most well designed signage, missing sales or other offers as they rush by. But with a well-placed, custom audio announcement, they can’t miss it. A carefully curated playlist can also put customers in a better mood, making them more apt to spend time looking around while making a purchase or taking advantage of services.
“Shorten” Wait Times
Most people have played the mind game of sitting and trying to guess when it’s been a minute. And after about 20 seconds, many claim it’s felt like 60 whole seconds. Sitting in silence only exacerbates that feeling. Recent studies have shown that the right music can calm people down and make them more comfortable. That can make their wait time—whether in a waiting room or standing in line—SEEM shorter. There is nothing most businesses can do about the actual wait times, but they can make them feel shorter. For many customers, that can mean the difference between a positive and a negative experience.
Even if they don’t realize it, in-store audio can have a profound impact on the way customers perceive their experience in a business. From the time they walk in, to how long they spend in the building, to whether they make a purchase, to how long they feel like they wait in line, to the way they feel about the store when they leave—all of that can be an effect of what they hear throughout the process. So, when it comes to what’s playing, think about what the goals are and press play accordingly.
Also, dance in the grocery aisles. Crackers and produce can get a liiiiittttle boring sometimes.
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.