It’s no secret that the pandemic upended the retail industry, forcing the closure of physical stores and causing uncertainty for the future of the in-store experience. These rapid shifts have left many retailers scrambling to effectively serve customers through other channels. Digital-first and omnichannel retailers pivoted more easily, but retailers that prioritized physical stores and face-to-face engagement over omnichannel strategies have struggled.
Nowadays, most brick-and-mortar business owners are so focused on drawing customers to their store that they forget the opportunities that exist once they arrive to shop, failing to leverage in-store advertising that allows them to continue the conversation and potentially affect purchasing decisions once customers walk through their doors.
Leveraging audio out-of-home (Audio OOH) technology gives retailers the power to enable brands to boost visibility with display and sponsored product ads, controlling everything through a self-service platform or leveraging programmatic for managed services. In-store audio affects a retailer’s bottom line and customer experience, elevating product sales and the mechanics behind reaching hundreds of in-store customers every hour of every day.
Incorporating Audio OOH into a retailer’s strategy is a win for everyone. Retailers win with a solution that helps them monetize their data and earn more ad revenue, and brands win with retailer intent and purchase data that doesn't rely on third-party cookies and measurable ads that boost their product visibility on the digital shelf.
Consumers, meanwhile, win with relevant ads that seamlessly integrate into their shopping experience and help them find the products they want to buy.
Here are three reasons why the vibe of your retail location will determine the success of your business and prepare you for the next generation of in-store advertising.
To put this in perspective, Audio OOH can’t be blocked, skipped, or fast-forwarded due to not being controlled by a newsfeed algorithm or plagued with fraud. Many advertisers are leaning towards leveraging Audio OOH as a bigger part of their brand and marketing strategy to improve reach, frequency, and overall business outcomes such as foot traffic and sales. Audio is such a powerful tool that drives brand awareness and audience action.
2. Impact the Way Customers Think, Feel and Act
Increased customer engagement is a considerable benefit retailers receive when choosing to incorporate Audio OOH advertising into their business strategy. By combining ads with the right music playlists that tie back to a customer’s interests, they are more likely to listen while making a purchase or taking advantage of services.
According to MediaPost, just 7% of grocery shopping has shifted to digital or online, meaning 93% of shoppers are still physically in the store at the time of purchase. Yes, online ordering, e-commerce and delivery are growing sectors but in-store is still representative of the vast majority of time spent grocery shopping.
Retailers should put thoughtful consideration into the type of customer experience their business strives to deliver as well as the mix of vendors who stock their shelves. With Audio OOH, you can encourage customers to try new things. This drives demand and helps customers understand their choices beyond the same option they select every time.
3. Enable Exclusive Access to SKU-Level Data
There has never been a more critical need for nimble media strategies that smartly engage audiences who are experiencing heightened emotions and changing behaviors as they adapt to a “new normal.” With budgets under more scrutiny than ever before, it’s crucial that every advertising investment produces tangible and measurable results for businesses.
Being able to understand return on investment (ROI) from Audio OOH is critical for advertisers. Without these insights, marketers and CPG brands are less likely to make informed decisions. With this technology, retailers have the power to measure and relay insights in a way that is meaningful and timely, giving brands national reach to a premium audience at a competitive price point.
Retailers and CPG brands are embracing this new go-to-market strategy, a strategy focused on in-store audio elements of the marketing mix that are delivering superior returns on marketing investments. It’s critical that brands determine how they’re going to market their products in order to drive business and Audio OOH is the solution. This technology’s value, impact and ability to scale allows retailers now more than ever before, to ensure a positive, in-store customer experience.
Paul Brenner is president of Audio OOH and chief strategy officer of Vibenomics, a location-based Audio Out-of-Home advertising and experience company that powers audio channels for retailers, giving brands the ability to talk to shoppers directly at the point of sale.