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Atmosphere drives bricks-and-mortar sales

While e-commerce growth may be at an all-time high in Australia, a global study by Mood Media has found that most consumers still prefer the experience of shopping in a bricks-and-mortar environment.

The study found that the music, visuals and scent are an important part of a consumer’s decision about where they shop, with 79 per cent of respondents noting they are likely to choose a store over online if it has an enjoyable atmosphere.

“Our research has shown definitively that there is still a demand for bricks-and-mortar shops,” Mood Media Australia managing director Steve Hughes said.

“Consumers want to enjoy the experience of shopping and this is something that online stores simply cannot offer. Attracting shoppers with an enticing atmosphere and then encouraging purchases with a hands-on experience are key to increasing purchases.”

Store atmosphere was found to influence whether consumers are likely to return to a store, with 86 per cent likely to revisit a store with an enjoyable atmosphere, and 70 per cent likely to spend a longer period in-store.

The most important factor in store atmosphere is music. The report found that 85 per cent of shoppers’ moods will improve if they like the music being played, while 57 per cent will disengage with the brand if they don’t.

Almost half (45 per cent) of respondents said they have stayed longer in-store as a result of good music.

“Music is such an important component in the shopping experience,” Hughes said.

“It can lift the mood, create a calming atmosphere that drives shoppers to take their time, and even give the staff an all-important pep-up in the afternoon. A carefully curated playlist can increase the daily takings, time in-store and repeat store visits.”

Store scent is also important, according to 63 per cent of respondents who noticed when a store had a “pleasing and inviting” smell.

Additionally, over half of those surveyed in Australia said they had been tempted into a clothing store, or stayed longer, based on engaging content being played on in-store or window display screens.

“Consumers aren’t just buying a product when in store; they’re buying an experience and they are demanding with their feet,” Hughes said.

“For many, shopping is a form of entertainment and bricks-and-mortar stores have a real advantage. Done right, shops can see new customers, higher numbers of repeat visits, longer in-store dwell times and more recommendations.”

The study was conducted with 10,039 consumers surveyed across 10 countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and United States.

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