Press release - 16.07.2020

In-Store Music in 2020: Crisis or Opportunity?

Music Alone can Influence More than We Realise

In-store music is only one among the several elements that go into the staging of bricks and mortar or any other form of physical retail presence.

Yet we can all agree that an inappropriate use of music - the type of content and volume level heard for instance - can right away overshadow all other aspects in the store, ultimately jeopardising customer experience as a whole.

An inspiring and effective sound ambiance at the point of sale (POS), on the other hand, seamlessly creates positive, emotional and memorable moments which, in interplay with visual merchandising and store design, make a point of experience (POX) come to life.

From this appreciation we deduct that the shift from POS to POX is only possible with a smart integration of relevant and high-quality music curation.

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A Systemic Problem in the Field of In-Store Music

Then why are several in-store providers under financial strains or even struggling to survive? It would be too shallow to hold the ongoing pandemic crisis alone responsible. The explanation rather lies in more tangled market dynamics and common assumptions.

Taking a glance at the service pricing of in-store music providers globally, it becomes clear that a majority operates in the low price range and fights for every penny. Our 15-year long experience as an audio branding partner also indicates that purchasing decisions of retailers tend to mostly and - often solely - be based on the cost of the service. Meaning, whether there is coherence between the music picked for a retail space and the brand’s own corporate identity or whether the music content played is at all beneficial to store performance is beside the point. Bluntly speaking, the general demand of retailers is to have background music just for the sake of it.

The Dead End of Dumping

This is precisely the attitude that pressures in-store providers into a price-dumping spiral. Product demand and service quality end up getting sacrificed in favour of the most competitive price. Under such premises, the true potential of in-store music is not even remotely exploited and the content provided eventually degenerates into a random and universal accessory.

Due to extremely low margins, in-store music providers are left with scant resources to allocate to research and development. This hinders innovation efforts and ultimately progress in the sector, which prevents players from meeting industry trends and fulfilling customer expectations. The average in-store music solution on the market today simply does not meet the needs of a modern POX!

The Importance of Sharing and Daring

The value of in-store music has to then be critically re-assessed. Acknowledging that music significantly enhances stationary retail performance and such impact can objectively be measured - with KPIs such as footfall, dwell time, capture rate, loyalty amongst others - then it is only fair for its contribution to be remunerated accordingly.

Over the course of our activity, we have been keen to educate brands on the emotional power of music, challenging industry best practice to align efforts toward the "Future of Retail". HearDis! advocates for a brand-fit approach: our music curation suits the retailer individually, with content that is personalised to the specific brand, audience and space. This unleashes memorable experiences that make customers feel more connected with the brands they love and elevate their store performance as a consequence.

Our ceaseless passion and determination resonated with many retailers, which have since witnessed and understood the added value of effective use of music in their offline presence. Pleased with the results of an in-store music that puts emphasis on the individuality of their brand, the companies we work with are convinced of our premium service.

This is the case for in-store providers as much as in any other business area: quality costs money, sure, but in the end the investment pays off!

The current COVID‑19 pandemic is urging retailers across industry sectors to rethink their corporate values and marketing strategy. There is an ever greater pressure to stand out from the crowd and to connect with people. With an undertaking that sees emotions at the core, music becomes a key asset for success. In this great crisis, there is a great opportunity for in-store music providers such as ourselves to make a difference in the future of retail.

HearDis! Berlin HearDis! GmbH Christinenstraße 22 10119 Berlin Germany

T: +49 30 225 027 78 0
F: +49 30 225 027 78 99


HearDis! Stuttgart HearDis! GmbH Christophstraße 6 70178 Stuttgart Germany

T: +49 711 518 92 98 0
F: +49 711 518 92 98 90