Sound Advice

Now hear this: If you aren't using your in-store sound system to amplify your sales and image, you may be missing out on a sound opportunity.

"We know that 65 to 70 percent of all buying decisions are made while a customer is in the store," says Robbin Reynolds, president of Sound Products Inc., a Lenexa, Kansas, communications company that specializes in audio merchandising. Using a satellite music system and customized audio messages, retailers can turn "dead air" into an ongoing sales program--without any extra skill or effort on behalf of the sales staff.

For an initial cash outlay of less than $300 and a monthly fee of about $100, retailers get access to a satellite music system and the ability to create their own in-store commercials. Audio merchandising can:

  • boost impulse and add-on purchases
  • promote high profit-margin items
  • enhance your image
  • highlight community and public service programs.

Some retailers sell in-store audio ads to their vendors. "Customers in your store are a captive audience," says Reynolds. "Vendors know this is a low-cost, targeted way of reaching their market." And not a bad way to reach yours, either.

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This article was originally published in the October 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Sound Advice.

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