In-store audio marketing can encourage consumer engagement and influence buying decisions. When combined with music, the resulting marriage of technology and emotion is especially powerful. Point-of-sale (POS) displays for music are as old as the compact disc (CD). However, the challenges that today’s media companies and retailers face endure. For example, POS displays need to provide high-quality sound in a low-cost but reliable module. Retailers don’t want to carry excess inventory. In addition, media companies don’t want to lose sales because of long lead times, high shipping costs, or challenges with customization.
Interactive Displays and Purchasing Decisions
Mood Entertainment, a division of Mood Media, produces and distributes specialty music sold by retailers through interactive displays. Mood is the successor to Somerset Entertainment, a Canadian subsidiary of the Allegro Music Group that put the sounds of nature to music. When Allegro’s Troy Cockriell was tasked with replacing the company’s permanent interactive displays, the busy executive looked at all of the numbers. He knew that retailers wanted a low-cost and disposable display. Especially for short-lived holiday sales, but not at the expense of sound quality.
Research showed that in-store shoppers who listened to a music sample were 400% more likely to buy the CD. Cockriell treated this metric as a guiding principle and searched for a solution on-line. He found Voice Express, a leader in interactive print media (IPM), and challenged the Fairfield, Connecticut company to create increasingly complex audio samples, starting with the Solitudes series created by Somerset’s founder, a world famous nature recorder and inventor of The Dan Gibson Parabolic Microphone.
After visiting Geoffrey Stern, the founder and CEO of Voice Express, Cockriell placed a low-volume order. The initial program was such a success that more retailers committed to using the new in-store audio marketing. Voice Express then faced a series of new challenges.
Media Enhanced Published on a Global Scale
Replacing Allegro’s permanent in-store displays was a complex global project. These existing modules were deployed in stores around the world and combined excellent audio and high-quality speakers with a sturdy housing. Yet, shoppers could break these POS displays by hitting, kicking, or just touching them. Repairing them was expensive and producing them was costly. Plus, these modules were heavy. That meant they were expensive to ship and difficult to dispose of. Voice Express seemed to offer a complete solution, but there were business and technical hurdles.
A cardboard housing that was lightweight, inexpensive to produce, and easy to liquidate helped. The use of a CD playback device and then Sandisk memory cards added value. The speaker that Voice Express supplied was small but powerful and the disposable battery would last until all of the CDs at a POS display had been sold. Because Cockriell was concerned about Voice Express’ ability to meet growing demand, he traveled to Hong Kong and met with the electronics provider himself. Satisfied with what he learned, he agreed to buy higher volumes and have them shipped by boat to North America.
In-Store Audio Marketing & Next-Generation Solutions
This model was strong, but the lead times were too long as the media company began projecting sales even before individual retailers specified a mix of music. The solution was for Voice Express to air-ship its cartridges to Cockriell’s company, where they would be programmed in order to meet custom demand. The relationship with retailers strengthened further, because the technology was significantly more reliable and better-sounding than the competition’s. Retailers liked how it reduced inventory risk, too.
Today, Voice Express continues to shape the future of marketing with products like Voice Express Connect™, Connect™ Point of Sales, and Connect™ After Sale. Whether you’re a media company or a retailer, you’ll appreciate the power of voice search. Especially during this touch-less time of COVID-19. Visit our website to learn more or contact us to discuss your application.