In the United States, most stores have had November 24, 2017 circled in bright red on their calendar for months. Why? Someone’s birthday? Nope―a different kind of holiday. This date marks a little something businesses call ‘Black Friday’. Traditionally, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year and is also considered the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, a critical time for most retailers.
In 2016, more than 154 million consumers shopped in stores and online, which was about 3 million more than the same period in 2015, according to the National Retail Federation survey. With those numbers―and the competition for shoppers becoming stiffer every year―stores must bring their top tier game to the table. Business owners need to think about how they are creating a vibe that now only draws Black Friday customers in, but makes them want to open their wallets, too.
Most stores will have their holiday decorations and lights on, their scented fragrances plugged in, and their merchandise positioned just right for eager shoppers. And, while they may have already tuned to their favorite 24/7 holiday radio station, it may be time to think a little bigger about how to use in-store music and announcements to make sure the vibe is just right.
Feeling a little lost? Well, this is the right place! Read on for 4 key tips for using in-store audio to create the exact right Black Friday vibe to kick off the holiday shopping season with a bang.
It’s Holiday Music Time!
During Black Friday, most shoppers are in the gift-buying, holiday spirit. Help keep them that way with a great holiday soundtrack. Before putting that playlist together, consider the audience the store brings in. The more contemporary the target audience, the more contemporary the holiday music choices should be. For a retail store catering to edgier clientele, however, more modern musical takes on traditional holiday tunes can help keep the spirits up. But, for yet another audience type, only the classics from childhood will do. If the store attracts shoppers of all ages and from all backgrounds, then blending both classics with more modern tunes is likely the best option. Whichever direction is decided upon, a carefully curated holiday playlist is what Black Friday shoppers are after when they’re sipping hot chocolate buying those stocking stuffers. Deciding upon the right tunes will help to create the perfect Black Friday vibe from the moment they step foot in the store.
Keep It Upbeat… But Not Too Much
There has been study after study done on the effects of tempo and how it relates to retailers. The topic of tempo has certainly been addressed in this blog before due to its importance when selecting just the right playlist. A careful balance needs to be created between faster, upbeat tunes and slower, more mellow ones. Most business owners want customers to take their time while shopping, taking time to look for what they may want to buy and, of course, not feel too rushed.
While all of this is true for most any day throughout the year, Black Friday is a different story. Not only are customers typically rushing from one store to the next, but they’re in search of the perfect deal. That means the amount of foot traffic through the store will likely be higher than normal, and the energy of the customers (even at 4am) will also be much greater. It’s important to keep people moving at a comfortable, but relatively quick, pace to keep aisles clear and lines manageable―and, believe it or not, playlist tempos play an important role in achieving this goal.
Keep Shoppers Informed
In the rush and excitement of the Black Friday frenzy, shoppers will rush right on by all the carefully designed signage that highlights the doorbuster deals and buy-one-get-ones. Calm, happy overhead announcements can break through all the craziness and make sure shoppers are finding exactly what they are looking for. And, because offers and availability can change so quickly, it’s worth investing in an on-demand system that can help stay up to date on stock and price changes. Some retailers, for example, may have bigger sales earlier in the day on Black Friday, with prices slowly climbing up until closing time. Because of Black Friday sale nuances, it’s more important than ever to over-communicate changes to customers in order to prevent angry shoppers.
In addition, lines will (with any luck) be a major issue. Using announcements to communicate wait times will help keep customers calm while allowing the store employees to provide the best service and organization.
Remember: Customers Are Only Part Of It
Yes―a huge part, by all means. But who do those all-important customers interact with when in the store? The employees and staff members. Keeping the staff happy and organized with in-store audio can be the missing link between miscommunication and confusion. That confusion will not only look bad when team members are unable to answer questions or have misinformation, but can also put that employee in a sour mood, making their interactions with customers just as unhappy. Happy staff don’t just mean happy Black Friday customers, but happier, loyal year-round customers.
While all through the year in-store audio can make a difference in the customer experience, Black Friday offers the opportunity to reach more people and bring some peace to a potentially chaotic day. Businesses need to use every tool in their box to keep customers happy, excited, and in the holiday spirit.
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.