Shopper Engagement
How to Strike the Perfect In-Store Balance Between Music and Announcements
Music and the overall auditory experience can be an extremely powerful tool for many brick and mortar businesses, regardless of their industry. Making the soundtrack not only a part of…
September 1, 2017

Music and the overall auditory experience can be an extremely powerful tool for many brick and mortar businesses, regardless of their industry. Making the soundtrack not only a part of the customer experience, but one of the MOST appealing parts of it, can drive customers to want to spend more time in the store and to come back again and again. Industry research backs that up with 63% of small retailers agreeing that playing music encourages customers to spend longer in-store.

Customers often want a pick-me-up or are shopping or browsing to feel more relaxed. How satisfying to see a customer walking around humming or singing along to the in-store soundtrack and truly enjoying their shopping experience? And it does have an impact on customers. 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 playing a local radio station.

And while the music is a critical component, once they are listening to what’s playing over the speakers, why not use that attention for a more targeted message? That’s where on-demand announcements can play an important role. On-demand announcements can be useful for everything from sales events to driving customers to digital channels to reminding them about important loyalty programs. They can also quickly provide an easy and effective way to educate customers on new products and offers, pushing products faster while increasing the revenue potential for every customer.

That being said, with all the information and benefits on-demand announcements can provide, in additional to all the benefits a custom soundtrack can bring, it’s hard to find the right balance between the two. Too much one way or the other and it can defeat the purpose of both. Here are a few tips to striking the perfect in-store balance between music and announcements.


Dayparting is a concept covered more in depth previously in this blog, which refers to the concept of musically “parting the day” into different, benchmarked times throughout the day. The term has origins in the radio business referring to playing certain songs or content at a certain time of the day. In stores, owners and their marketers must consider the time of day when thinking about on-air announcements as well as soundtracks. During higher traffic times or times when there is higher customer turnover, playing announcements more frequently certainly makes sense. However, if there is no one in the store, consistently playing those announcements again and again will only serve to annoy the staff.

Consider Customer Longevity

As mentioned, striking this balance also has quite a bit to do with how long a customer is actually in the store. A restaurant, for example, will most likely have customers sitting in seats longer than those browsing a retail environment. And even then, it depends on the type of restaurant. A fast-food restaurant sees a much higher turnover, and, as such, can play on air announcements more frequently to target different customers. It’s also not necessarily a negative to play or feature the same messaging through on-demand announcements more frequently. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), high frequency over a short period of time is much more effective than low frequency over a longer period of time.

AdjustDon’t Followthe Rules of Radio

recent study found that the average radio station aired 2.6 commercial breaks per hour, resulting in an average of nearly 9 minutes of advertising per hour. The average spot break was approximately 3.5 minutes in duration. In an in-store environment, that duration would be far too long for a single announcement. For example, if a store does a 30 second announcement, they could adjust the musical breaks to 3 per hour and likely see positive results.

The best part of an on-demand announcement service? Business owners can determine—on the fly—how frequently announcements should be played. If they notice the store is busier than normal, they can adjust the number, tone, or content of the announcements. While the above are general tips, they are just that—generally a good idea. But for a specific business, having the ability to adjust based on the current customer atmosphere is the best way to find balance for in-store music and in-store announcements.

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.

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