The retail landscape has changed dramatically over the past two years with the rise of virtual shopping. But as COVID-19 cases decline and vaccination distribution increases, brick-and-mortar shopping is making its return.
The influx of brands in brick-and-mortar stores requires retailers to adopt effective marketing strategies that drive foot traffic and customer loyalty. While e-commerce will remain popular, brands interacting with customers through various media — print ads, e-commerce apps, social media ads and primarily contextual ads in-store — will keep ahead of competitors. To drive purchases, brands must reach consumers across the sales funnel, delivering a consistent buying experience online and offline.
To capture and maintain shoppers’ attention in the crowded retail landscape, brands must invest in efforts designed to maximize customer interaction. For example, 48% of shoppers say in-store audio encourages them to locate products in-store and consider purchasing — the same amount as with video ads and digital screens. One of many notable findings in the Path to Purchase Institute’s “Shopper Engagement with Retail Media” research report.
Retailers are increasingly adopting audio out-of-home (OOH) — an in-store advertising strategy sitting at the end of the marketing funnel and targeting shoppers at the point of purchase. With 89% of consumers noticing in-store audio, retailers are eager to tailor ad messages played between songs to target hyper-specific, local customers with the highest propensity to spend.
This strategy offers a dynamic — not static — advertising approach. For example, it doesn’t rely on someone to walk by a display or see a posted sign. Instead, it reaches a “captive audience” throughout a store. The report found that 59% of consumers enjoy seeing or hearing about the products available at the retailer and are open to considering purchasing them during their shopping trip, proving this is an effective advertising tactic.
Retailers can customize audio OOH campaigns based on current inventory, eliminating the accidental promotion of out-of-stock products. Customer demographic data such as gender, age and lifestyle offers insights to guide decisions about ad choice and scheduling to optimize impact.
By implementing audio in-store as an integral part of their retail media strategy, advertisers and retailers gain an additional tool to raise in-store sales through optimized customer engagement, a sentiment Vibenomics has been driving with larger retailers in the industry for years.
Despite the current economic climate, retail media has cemented itself in the advertising landscape. “Fool-proof” channels like paid search, social media ads and cookies do not offer the same access to customers they once did. Therefore, brands realize the necessity of building a more complete marketing funnel by connecting with their customers through multiple touchpoints along the buyer’s journey.
Continued investment in retail media, specifically digital in-store media — including video displays and audio advertising — demonstrates these markets’ resilience in the face of economic and industry change. Shopper first-party data will continue to drive these channels, providing a win-win for advertisers and retailers. Advertisers can maximize the value of each customer interaction. Retailers open themselves to alternative revenue streams.
In competitive environments like grocery, convenience stores or big-box retailers included in this report, audio in-store can make the difference in what items people choose. Brands need options to layer their campaigns and highlight their products. For this purpose, audio OOH is the perfect partner.
About the Author: Paul Brenner joined Vibenomics in 2019 as Chief Strategy Officer to help develop the go-to-market strategy for the company’s first-to-market Audio Out-of-Home advertising solution. After a successful launch, Brenner was promoted to President of Audio OOH to oversee all efforts surrounding revenue-generating activity and related partnerships, and recently joined the DPAA Research Committee and new IAB Retail Media Committee. He has more than 25 years of experience in media and entertainment and technology leadership.