NOTA AICEX: come aumentare il traffico nel punto vendita con una innovativa Customer Experience? Musica e multimedia possono essere d’aiuto.
Retailers and brands are using music and multimedia in ever-more innovative ways to breathe new life into their stores and attract more customers.
It is well known that music plays a role in the total shopping experience, but it can also be an important tool in creating a memorable identity for specific retail brands, as well as giving stores a new role in a multi-channel sales environment.
In the Middle East, retailers are now investing in store programmes to create exceptional customer experiences that will differentiate them from their competitors. Rather than simply being outlets for products, new flagship stores opening in major cities are putting the excitement back into shopping, by providing a customer experience that cannot be replicated through any other channel. Music, video, interactivity and lighting are being combined to excite the senses, capture the brand personality and create unique shopping experiences.
Music is a critical component of this mix and historically managed by using CD playlists or the store manager’s personal choice. This may not necessarily comply with brand standards; and the importance of creating the right atmosphere within a store cannot be stressed enough, as it plays an important role in defining brand perceptions. Shopping environments have a significant influence on customer attitudes, their perceptions of the overall quality of the store, the uniqueness of the product and service levels, as well as the purchase price and purchase volume, all of which contribute to how long customers spend in store and how much they spend.
A study in 1985 by M Gardner found that a given mood state within a retail environment can increase the chances that a purchase will be made. Music communicates with our hearts and minds and serves as a powerful connection into our emotions. It is versatile and it has the ability to relax or invigorate. If the music is specifically designed to fit a particular demographic, then customers tend to relax and stay longer in the store.
A custom music strategy enables brands to make connections with specific target markets. By incorporating customer details, such as age, gender mix and income levels together with profile data such as lifestyle, personality and attitudes, retailers can create an audio environment where their customers feel comfortable, relaxed and happy to spend time and money.
The use of carefully selected music creates an immediate distinction for a retail brand by establishing the right mood. Music can motivate the subconscious and create a first and lasting impression. In some cases it can be more influential in the decision-making process than the product itself.
A host of big-name brands are successfully using custom music programming to represent the essence of their particular brand and to make powerful connections with their customers.
The in-store music vibe has always been important to MAC Cosmetics across all its stores worldwide. Music lies at the heart of the in-store customer experience in all stores located in Dubai and is designed to envelop the customer as soon as they enter the store. Playlists vary according to the time of day with a more chilled vibe for the morning, with the tempo ramping up later in the day. In certain months music playlists are themed to support various product campaigns.
Updates to the music profiles are made monthly, to incorporate new music and profiles. Once the playlists have been developed they can be distributed by network to all sites ensuring that there is consistent ambient sound across all the stores.
At La Senza stores across the Middle East, music profiles have been specifically developed for the local market, with any inappropriate lyrics being edited out. Music is drawn from a wide variety of sources: as well as featuring the latest chart hits and music from established artists, tracks are also sourced from emerging young talent, reflecting a wide range of moods and tempos.
As the retail industry works to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding and fickle customer base, it has to work even harder to create the ‘total’ experience; and technology is moving from being simply part of the infrastructure to adopting a more innovative role.
Typically, this has seen the emergence of systems that combine music, lighting and video. This in turn has attracted greater involvement in hospitality by brands, who are looking for new ways to reach their customers, through every type of leisure venue. Brands are using integrated multimedia design and technology solutions to deliver core brand messages, manage promotions and engage consumers.
At this level, brands and venues are collaborating around their mutual desire to get closer to the customer, to understand their needs, enabling them to get the offer right first time, but with sufficient flexibility to adapt to change.
Stores’ environments provide consumers with informational clues about the uniqueness of the merchandise and service quality and assist in shaping consumer attitudes and perceptions about the brand. Store image and mood can be changed dramatically by the introduction of music. Music establishes the mood, helps motivate the subconscious and can create a lasting impression of the brand on existing and potential customers.