How to Increase Sales This Holiday Season Through Clear, On-brand Background Music

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Although several months away from the delightful sounds of Salvation Army bell ringers and Deck the Halls playing, retail management teams are busy preparing their stores for the year's busiest season — the holidays. According to Placer.ai, average monthly visits to indoor malls rose 40 percent month over month in December 2022, peaking at 55% over average weekly visits the week of December 26. With another spike expected for the 2023 holidays, retailers are now working to enhance the in-store shopping experience, including upgrading outdated audio systems with products like AtlasIED's Atmosphere audio system and the company's new IsoFlare loudspeakers.  

Retailers spend countless hours designing storefronts, eye-catching displays, and an efficient store layout to encourage customers to explore more merchandise. Music also plays an essential role in creating ambiance and a pleasant experience once inside. Background music played in a store has shown to improve the mood of shoppers and keep them in-store longer. One recent study from the University of Bath's School of Management found that shoppers spent 10 percent more money when listening to background music. 

Music type and volume the music is played in a store are important decisions for any retailer — each choice should involve consideration of the desired target audience and how closely the music and volume matches the brand. If a retailer targets a younger demographic, retail brands should curate their own music rather than choose a random playlist, in that way they can monitor feedback and add music popular for the clientele. Additionally, those retailers targeting that target an older demographic want to play music at a level comfortable for the customer first and foremost. 

The latest audio systems installed to deliver music in retail can provide multiple benefits, and in-store retail management teams should choose wisely while considering the following: 

Quality
Harsh-sounding, poor-quality audio can be inconsistent with a brand's image and can cause guest fatigue, resulting in quicker trips, less money spent, and fewer return visits. That may be acceptable for some brands but incongruous for most. Retailers should invest in the quality of audio technology and loudspeakers to match the store's brand.  

Ease of Use
Today's best audio system controls have user interfaces similar to the most popular mobile devices making it easy to train staff and simple to make quick changes. These systems can be password protected to limit the number of employees, and shoppers, who can access the system and make changes, reducing the potential for human errors, inadvertent hacking, and the frequency of costly service calls from AV technicians.  

Automation
Many audio systems, such as the AtlasIED Atmosphere platform, integrate ambient noise sensors installed throughout a retail store to automatically increase or decrease music volume when sensors detect noise level changes. This relieves the burden of staff to make manual changes, keeping them focused on customers during the busiest times. 

Affordability
Some low-cost audio systems produce lower-quality audio, but not all. Find audio systems that offer good quality at a reasonable price. 

"We continue to see increased demand for retail audio systems that create better acoustics and more enjoyable atmosphere," said Ivan Scwartz, Director of Consultant Relations at AtlasIED. "In-person shopping is a multi-sensory experience. A distracted customer immersed in a store with poor-quality, uninspiring audio can get bored or fatigued, and won't spend time and money in the store. Bad acoustics and sub-standard sound systems are a clear sign that audio is an afterthought."

AtlasIED provides end-to-end audio solutions for retailers, including the audio platform and a range of loudspeaker options. AtlasIED's Atmosphere digital audio system allows retailers to control background music, create zones that play music at different volumes, provide AI-based ambient noise compensation, and allow staff to make in-store announcements. Additionally, the company has a range of loudspeaker choices, including the premium IsoFlare series, which provides natural and accurate sound.