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The power of audio experiences in retail and hospitality

In an era where customer experience is paramount, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to connect with their clientele. For those in the retail and hospitality sectors, crafting a memorable atmosphere is essential. One often overlooked element that can significantly enhance a customer's experience is the use of audio. 
Music makes consumers stay longer 
Music is the universal language of emotions. It has the power to evoke memories, create moods, and even influence behaviour. Our recent study found that businesses playing music that aligns with their brand identity are 96% more likely to be remembered by consumers than those that don't.  
Furthermore, when customers appreciate the music being played, they are more likely to stay longer, with many returning, recommending the business to others, and even claiming they buy more. For retailers and hospitality venues, this translates to increased dwell time, higher sales, and enhanced brand loyalty. 
The right music enhances brand perception 
It's not just about playing any music; it's about playing the right music at the right level. The music played in a business significantly affects consumers' perception of the brand. It's essential that the music matches the business's profile or brand, and it's even more crucial that it's played at the right volume. When the music aligns with the brand's identity and is played at an appropriate volume, it can create a harmonious atmosphere that resonates with customers. 
The art of balancing sound: an intelligent tech solution 
A key element to the perfect ambience is achieving the right balance of sound. When music is played at the optimal level, it balances the sound picture in the room. This means that the music will filter out distant conversations, allowing patrons to engage in intimate discussions without the need to raise their voices.  
Our sensors, placed strategically in venues, measure the entire sound picture, identifying and balancing out three elements: people talking, the music, and any other noise, such as fans or coffee machines. This data-driven approach ensures that the ambience remains consistent, regardless of who's in charge of the music. 

Avoiding the pitfalls of wrong music choices 
The wrong music choice can have detrimental effects. Almost 44% of consumers admit to leaving a business due to inappropriate or irritating music, and 38% claim they won't return. The most common reasons for this adverse reaction are music played too loudly, blocking conversation, or music that's perceived as noisy or irritating. 

The silence dilemma 
While the wrong music can drive customers away, the absence of music isn't a solution either. Between 32-41% of respondents in our study indicated a negative or very negative reaction to silence in businesses like shops, restaurants, or hairdressers. Especially for younger demographics, a silent gym would be a significant deterrent, with over 60% of 16-24-year-olds reacting negatively. 
The impact on employees 
 It's not just customers who benefit from the right audio experience. Almost 3 out of 10 people love listening to music while working. This figure rises to nearly half for the younger demographic (16-24 years). Moreover, close to 50% of this age group claim they become more productive when listening to music at work. A significant portion of all respondents felt that music made their work environment more relaxed; for the younger group, many felt it enhanced the social environment among employees. 
Final thoughts 
The strategic use of audio experiences in retail and hospitality venues can significantly enhance the customer experience, drive sales, and even improve employee productivity and satisfaction. It's not just about playing music; it's about curating the right audio experience that aligns with the brand, resonates with customers, and creates a harmonious atmosphere. As businesses continue to evolve and adapt to changing consumer behaviours, those harnessing sound's power will undoubtedly have a competitive edge. 

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