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When we walk into a store, every detail matters. We shape our opinions based on obvious things like decor, store layout, and product selection. But, we also adjust our perceptions based on little things we barely notice like overhead music, sounds, and messages.

While in-store audio marketing may not be the first thing you think of when you design the customer experience at your location, it must be something that you think about.

The rest of this post will explain why you can’t overlook in-store audio marketing and also include steps for how you can use this experiential tool in your store, restaurant, or office.

What’s In-Store Audio Marketing?

In-store audio marketing uses sounds, music, and voice-overs to market to customers and shape the experiences they have while in a business. It uses audio to control the messages and feelings that customers experience, to set the tempo that guides the consumer’s visit, and to exhibit a style that matches a company’s branding.

In this post, we’ll look at the following types of in-store audio marketing tactics.

  • Overhead Music: the background music broadcast throughout a location
  • Overhead Messaging: the voice-over messaging broadcast throughout a location
  • Digital Signage Videos: the sounds associated with video content displayed on a digital screen placed on walls throughout a location

These aren’t the only types of audio marketing. There are other ways to use audio to market a business. But other methods typically take place outside of the business. That may include podcasting or smart home assistants. This post will refer to in-store audio marketing tools only.

Why Is In-Store Audio Marketing Important?

There are multiple benefits to using audio as part of your in-store marketing strategies.

The sounds in your store impact the way customers think, act, and feel. Music isn’t just something we enjoy or dislike. It’s something that has a direct impact on our mood, feelings, and thinking. A paper published in Frontiers in Psychology showed that music causes people to:

  • Feel emotions such as happiness, sadness, and excitement
  • Feel removed from the world or more engaged with it
  • Feel engaged and interested in listening more closely

These outcomes show how overhead music can shape the way customers feel as they shop or eat in your location. And, that’s not all music can do. The tempo and volume of the music in your business can also shape the way customers act. Multiple studies have found that:

  • Fast-tempo overhead music causes customers to shop more quickly.
  • Slow-tempo music causes customers to relax, browse slowly, and spend more time in a store.
  • Loud music causes young customers to stay longer.
  • Soft music causes older shoppers to stay longer.

So as you design your overhead music playlist, select music that best matches the experience you want to create and the customers you want to please.

The sounds in your store reflect your brand image. The music in your store shouldn’t be curated to include songs that you love. It should be a playlist of music that pleases and attracts your target audience and matches your overall branding.

In-store background music is a reflection of your brand, so don’t let employees change it to what they prefer. Keep a consistent sound that always shows customers where they are and what the brand represents.

The sounds in your store impact the way employees think, act, and feel. It’s easy to focus on customers when we think about overhead sounds. But, it’s just as important to think about the way music affects employees. They are the people who must listen to in-store sounds for hours at a time, and what they hear can make them better or worse employees.

One study found that upbeat office music made employees more cooperative. And, when a story came out about overhead music having a negative impact on job satisfaction, mega-retailer Wal-mart decided to change how they play music in their locations. So when thinking about overhead music selections, remember to consider how it will impact your employees as well as your customers.

The sounds in your store share messages with customers. Along with eliciting feelings about your brand, overhead sounds also give you an opportunity to share information about your brand.

Through overhead messaging and digital signage audio, you can create messages that tell customers about your sales, new products, upcoming events, brand story, or any other relevant, timely information. Customers in your store are already highly engaged with your brand, so use voice-over audio messages to turn that attention toward targeted advertising and communication.

The music in your store could be illegal to play. Another element of in-store audio that is often overlooked relates to the legalities of broadcasting sounds in a public space. Despite what many business owners think, it can be illegal to play Pandora, Spotify, or even purchased iTunes songs in your location.

There are legal rules in place for what music you can play in a public space. And, the fines for failing to adhere to these rules are steep. In Tampa, 25 businesses were sued for playing copyright music. Eleven of the reported settlements ranged from $10,200 to $62,5100. As you choose your overhead music, make sure you select a legal in-store music option.

How to Get Started with In-Store Audio Marketing

Just because music and messaging are in the background doesn’t mean that customers tune it out or don’t notice it. The sounds that broadcast throughout your location have a major influence and impact on how customers experience your brand and store. So don’t overlook in-store audio marketing.

Start controlling the feeling that customers have in your location, sharing important information with engaged consumers, and designing a holistic branded experience within your business.

Contact us today to learn more about bringing in-store audio marketing to your location. Or for more information, download our free ebook about how to improve customer experiences using audio and video in your location.