I don’t know about you, but I still quite like visiting my local city centre, high street and retail park to do a spot of shopping, especially during this time of year as we begin the last minute dash to collect presents for Christmas. (Though, I’ve done all of mine already, I might add!)
With the decline of high street shopping in this new on-line world, it’s important that the shopping environment is just right for those braving the weather and crowds to go into your store and to keep them there, not only to get what they came in for, but equally to purchase other items.
The most obvious way to do this is to have a nice window display, clean store and an easy route around the store. But there’s a background element, somewhat a subconscious element that some retailers forget about and that’s the atmosphere, the instore radio or audio.
I saw this tweet from a customer of WHSmiths. He had visited the store only to find the festive CD was skipping. Personally, this would put me off shopping there, I’d rather shop in silence.
But when it works, instore radio can be very good at keeping shoppers around for a little bit longer. You can tailor the music to your customers tastes, promote special offers in well produced adverts, or even just provide some ambience throughout the store to create a calm shopping environment.
There are two retailers that I’m aware of who actually have live in-store radio, mimicking that of Commercial radio that shoppers are used too. They are ASDA, who have ASDA FM Live broadcasting across some of the chains supermarkets, whilst cosmetic retailer Superdrug have Superdrug live, who invite staff members to text in and request music but whose presenters also do live reads on products and deals in store. I love the fact staff can message in – I’ll be wandering around the Oxford City store with my other half and hear a ‘shout out’ for the team up in Leeds, but it’s nice, there’s a real human element there.
According to a company who provide instore radio services, namely Instore Radio, 86% of managers they surveyed say playing the right background music encourages customers to stay longer and to spend more.
Equally, I’ve been into shops that have no music at all, ones that have the WRONG style of music for their clientele and others who choose to play London’s Heart from a TV hooked up to Sky/Freeview, instead of playing the local, more relevant, equivalent.
So if you’re a retailer, no matter how big or small, think of the ambience of your shop, this should be on the top of your list of priorities when encouraging customers to visit. The look of your window display, the cleanliness of your store, helpfulness of your staff and the quality of your instore radio/audio – together, creates a package to keep customers coming back.
Saturday 15th December 2018