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Turning Up Profits: The ROI-Driven Case for Choosing Audio Over Screens in Retail


Image of a supermarket


In the ever-evolving landscape of retail media, the choice between audio and screens has become a crucial decision for businesses aiming to enhance their in-store experience.


While both media offer unique advantages, this article explores why prioritizing audio may be a strategic move, supported by factors such as return on investment, installation costs, revenue generation, and the evolving dynamics of in-store and online retail.


Audio's Remarkable Return on Investment

One of the compelling reasons to consider audio as a primary medium in retail media is its return on investment (ROI). Compared to screens, audio installations typically require lower upfront costs, making it an attractive option for businesses operating within constrained budgets. Despite the lower installation investment, the returns from audio-focused retail media can be substantial.


Retailers have found that audio engages customers effectively, driving brand awareness and influencing purchasing decisions at point of sale. With the right content and messaging, audio can create a memorable and immersive shopping experience, leading to increased customer loyalty and, ultimately, higher revenue.


The In-Store Advantage

While the rush towards e-commerce during the height of the pandemic was understandable, recent statistics indicate that in-store purchases remain significant. Approximately 40% of consumers make an in-store purchase at least once a week, surpassing the 27% who make online purchases with the same frequency. Moreover, physical stores account for 80% of all retail sales, indicating that in-store shopping remains a dominant force in the retail industry.


Retailers cognizant of this trend, are reconsidering the balance between in-store and online strategies. Many acknowledge that they might have hastily shifted their focus to e-commerce during the pandemic and are now recognizing the ongoing importance of in-store experiences.


Return on Invested Capital

Audio's potential to provide a high return on invested capital (ROIC) further solidifies its appeal in retail media. With lower installation costs, businesses can allocate resources more efficiently, ensuring that the return on the initial investment is maximized. This allows retailers to achieve their financial goals while creating a compelling and engaging in-store atmosphere.


Research Before Purchase

It is essential to recognize that the decision between audio and screens is not about declaring one superior to the other. Instead, it is about understanding the unique strengths of each medium and aligning them with business objectives. *As 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase, the integration of audio in retail media can complement online efforts, creating a cohesive and impactful customer journey.


In conclusion, the choice between audio and screens in retail media is nuanced and dependent on various factors. While screens undoubtedly offer visual appeal, audio presents a compelling case due to its high ROI, lower installation costs, and the enduring relevance of in-store shopping.


The key takeaway is not to dismiss one medium in favor of the other (if anything we recommend an omni-channel approach), but rather to consider prioritizing audio, especially when budgets are at play. By leveraging the unique advantages of audio, retailers can create immersive and cost-effective in-store experiences that resonate with the evolving preferences of today's consumers. 


Sources:

7 Shopping Online Vs In Store Statistics In 2023 Online Dasher - (PWC, Statista, Tidio, GWI, General Electric, Census, Bigcommerce)


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