While marketing through tactile, taste, aural and aroma technology is already a floor for mature markets in Europe and America, Asia’s retail scene has yet to catch up with this genre of marketing, Simon Faure-Field, CEO of Equal Strategy says.

This situation might be changing though as retailers attempt to further increase customer interaction through experiential marketing as well as differentiate themselves from the next competitor. Although the traditional retail store has for years relied on lighting, in-store visual displays and colour, In-store music solutions and fragrance have recently come to the fore as two of the ‘newer’ marketing tools.

Lest you think in-store music solutions refer to blasting any CD you choose over a stores sound system. Faure-Field warns that this practice common in most of Singapore’s retail shops is illegal if the store does not have a performing rights license. Furthermore, playing just any CD or worse, playing the same CD day in and out, will only do your business and employees more harm than good.

“There is a direct correlation between customer time spent in a store and a store’s sales, so what stores want to do is to increase the time customers spend in their stores and they can do that through creating the right mood and environment for the customer so that they enjoy being in the store — let the environment sell to the customer,” he says.

With store fragrancing, scenting technology includes injecting scents and fragrances into public spaces and retail areas, such as leather smell in a furniture store or a brewed coffee smell in an office lobby.

Faure-Field says with in-store music, difference genres at music can create different experiences for customers. Music with fast tempo would, therefore, be what he terms as ‘high arousal’ which among other things will work to excite and energise a shopper.

There is a direct correlation between customer time spent in a store and a store’s sales.
 — Faure-Field. Equal Strategy

“For instance we made use of different genres of music for one of our clients, Courts. At the electrical department, high energy music was used because electrical is about technology, energy, excitement, and adrenaline. On the furniture floor, soothing, jazzy music was used because you want people to be in a more relaxed mood, to sit down and try out the sofas on display,” Faure—Field says.

Christina Cooper, director of marketing at Courts says the furniture retailer introduced In-store music solutions about a year ago, with all Courts branches fitted out with the system.

“Courts conscious of creating an In-store environment that is conducive for consumers through store ambiance and customer service; we also feel it is important to have a common thread running through all marketing channels, including the in-store environment and having in-store music solutions that compliment on-going marketing campaigns offer that,” Cooper says.