Shopper Engagement
Using Audio to Merge the Offline & Online Customer Experience
Today’s shoppers have ever increasing access to new technology when it comes to how and where they spend their money. As such, businesses are finding that they have to change…
August 15, 2017

Today’s shoppers have ever increasing access to new technology when it comes to how and where they spend their money. As such, businesses are finding that they have to change their strategies and adapt to this new environment. Part of that adaptation includes finding ways to merge their online, digital presence with their offline, brick and mortar shopping experience.

It is certainly worth the time and effort it takes to make that a reality. While the growth of online shopping is apparent, 40% of shoppers still make in-store purchases at least once a week. 60% want the immediate satisfaction and 65% want to avoid delivery fees. With that kind of foot traffic, businesses can blend that in-store experience with the online one.

By 2020, the customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. For businesses, that means creating a seamless experience as shoppers go from online to in-store. For customers, it can mean a better overall experience. By finding new and innovative ways to combine the on and offline experience, businesses are improving the customer journey, driving sales, engagement, and the Holy Grail—customer loyalty.

One often overlooked and underutilized (but impactful) way to create that seamless customer experience is with sound. The audio system in a store can be one of the best ways to merge the offline and online customer experience. Here’s how:

Providing a Unified Brand Sound

Most retailers know how important playing music in-store is to the happiness of their customers and employees. As a reminder, 72% of people who like music in-store say a shop playing music is more inviting, according to research conducted by VisionCritical. And, out of those shoppers who noticed in-store music, 40% will stay longer in a shop if they feel the music is well-chosen for the environment. Imagine if that in-store audio experience translates to online.

It’s also a way to continue to gather valuable information on customers if, in order to get the playlist, they have to provide an email address or other information. Who knew a customized in-store music experience could go so much further than just something pleasant to listen to?

On-Demand Audio Announcements

Businesses can also use on-demand audio announcements to remind shoppers of sales, events or special offers. By also using online channels to promote these offers, shoppers can feel a sense of consistency going from on to offline. If a retailer promotes an offer on their social media channels, reminding them of that offer through in-store announcements can have a two-fold impact. For those customers already following or engaging with the brand on social media, it will remind them to take advantage of the offer. As an added bonus, for some of those who haven’t yet engaged on social media, an in-store announcement may drive them to do just that.

For example, a retail store may have an offer running in their Instagram feed with a special code for a discount on a back-to-school outfit. Using in-store audio to remind shoppers of that offer can improve both the engagement with the offer and the engagement with that particular social media platform.

Drive App Adoption

If a business is looking for ways to increase adoption rates of their app, in-store audio announcements can be just the thing to see results. By downloading and engaging with a mobile app, customers are letting the brand into their most intimate space: their mobile device.

Merging apps that offer online pre-pay and pick up with successful loyalty programs can be very lucrative. Take Starbucks for example. Their app boasts approximately 19 million monthly active users. The app has been so successful that their mobile app sales account for nearly 30% of total sales at rush hour, with order ahead actually increasing wait times for regular customers. About 43% of customers interacting with companies through these programs do so on a weekly basis.

Using in-store audio announcements to remind shoppers of all the value the app provides can increase adoption, engagement, and subsequently, overall sales.

While it may be often overlooked, audio can provide the tipping point for many customers. It is an easy way to merge the digital with the physical, giving customers increased value from every angle.

Interested in learning more? Request a demo of Vibenomics today and learn how you can start dayparting your music and in-store announcements.

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