To survive in today’s competitive environment, most businesses understand the importance of finding the most efficient and effective ways to engage their customers. That often requires an increased level of personalization for each customer. But how can small or medium sized stores, particularly franchise businesses, do that at scale with limited marketing resources? They must start strategically thinking about providing the best in-store experiences.
One area that’s often overlooked is the auditory experience customers have while in a store or business. Music can put customers in—and quickly take them out—of the moment. That likely isn’t a big surprise. After all, 91% of business owners believe that playing music makes staff and customers happier. However, how many included in that large percentage are using that music to its best business advantage? Not nearly enough.
The in-store music experience, coupled with on-demand announcements, can be just the solution when looking for ways to increase customer basket or sales size, drive enrollment or registration for events and reward programs, and also share information about specials and community initiatives. Here are just a few ways music and messaging can impact a business’ bottom line, along with a few real life examples of how it’s already working:
How Audio Can Have a Major Impact
Some think that music and announcements that play over the speakers of a store are just “noise,” but they’re mistaken. Research conducted by Vision Critical among 1,000 UK businesses and Entertainment Media Research among 2,000 UK consumers found that 63% of small retailers agree that playing music encourages customer to spend more time in a store. 72% of people who like music in-store say a shop playing music is more inviting, while 76% of small retailers believe they can positively influence the behavior of customers through music. Imagine being able to influence customer behavior—not just through price and product quality—but by offering a more personalized customer experience through custom in-store music.
It is likely that the ideal customer for a specific store also has a targeted style of music they prefer. In fact, 67% of shoppers who recall hearing music during their most recent shopping trip identified the music as being programmed specifically for the retail location as opposed to the shop simply blaring a local radio station. Plus, imagine playing that local station and airing an advertisement for a competitor’s offer that sends a potential customer out the door. Instead, why not utilize that passive experience to benefit the current shopping experience?
The Proof is in the Sales
In the world of business, there are plenty of priorities that require time, resources, and, above all, money. Thinking that devoting any of those to customized in-store music experiences or on-demand announcements may not seem like a priority. However, many customers are finding that it not only brings in enough sales to be a positive return on investment, but it helps to create a better overall customer experience.
A recent article in RetailWire found that, out of those who noticed in-store music, 40% will stay longer in a shop if they feel the music is well-chosen for the environment. A customer survey at Jiffy Lube found that 60% of customers heard the messages and 90% enjoyed the atmosphere.
Case Study: How Dairy Queen Drove Immediate In-Store Demand
But what about the sales numbers? An Indianapolis area Dairy Queen franchise may have something to add. While Dairy Queen Corporate, a global fast food company, provides local franchisees with marketing materials, this specific store location prefers doing more personalization for their customer base in the form of an annual Valentine’s Day dinner. While the dinner has seen moderate success in past years, this year it began using in-store, on-demand announcements about the dinner, and the event sold out in record time. Customers at their tables were even making reservations immediately after hearing the announcements. By not using custom messaging over their speakers, this Dairy Queen was—almost literally—leaving money on the table. By simply finding better ways of educating customers on new products and offers as they become available, this franchise found a new and easy way to make a profit.
The Customer Experience is King
VisionCritical estimates that, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the most important key brand differentiator. For nearly any business, using custom licensed music to create a superior in-store audio experience is a great way to promote unique events, offerings, and specials in a way that is non-intrusive but impactful. It allows businesses to push products faster while increasing the revenue potential for every customer or drive customers to a website for coupons and promotions. These tactics—particularly alongside a customized playlist—provide an improved, potentially highly profitable customer experience.
Interested in learning more? Request a demo of Vibenomics today and learn how you can start dayparting your music and in-store announcements.