Tips to increase sales


By Blog

If you work in the retail or service industry, you might not consider yourself an expert in psychology. However, whether you’re a seasoned retailer or new to the world of professional sales and services, you may actually be surprised by how much you know.

In practice, every sales-oriented business on the planet relies on human psychology to appeal to potential customers in one way or another – it’s just about recognising the tricks of the trade. It may sound complicated, but when it comes to increasing sales, practically every human being will react to specific mental triggers that drive their purchasing habits.

With this in mind, we thought we’d take a closer look at some of the most effective psychology tips that can help your business increase in-store sales.

Superdrug saw up to 24% increase in sales of products advertised on their
in-store radio.

The power of music…

One often underused method of increasing in-store sales relates to the sounds a customer hears when they are browsing the shelves. Music has the power to significantly impact human behaviour, with an increasing number of studies showing that background music with a lower tempo, for example, has the potential to increase sales.

Similarly, utilising different types of music at different times of day is also believed to improve sales. Customising in-store playlists for mornings, afternoons and evenings, for instance, will appeal to the different clientele likely to be in-store at a specific time, encouraging additional purchasing. Targeted audio advertising can also be utilised in a similar way.

Know your clientele…

Regardless of which psychology tip you think will be most effective in increasing sales for your business, it’s first important to know your audience. From labelling regular shoppers by social group to forging stronger ties with customers by promoting shared common values, knowing your clientele is a vital part of marketing.

So, whether it takes the form of cultivating an ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality to turn your brand into a must-have ‘cult’ or introducing gift-with-purchase promotions and free samples to encourage return custom, when it comes to implementing psychology strategies to increase sales, understanding your customer base is paramount.

While all of the psychology tips mentioned in the infographic below have been proven to work through academic studies, it’s important to remember that each customer and purchasing scenario is different.

Customers don’t appreciate feeling as though they are being manipulated and if you’re seen to use deceptive sales tactics, your business could suffer. This is why constant testing and experimentation with these sales techniques is so important. Discover which methods work most effectively for your business, find the best way to implement them, and then watch your sales soar!


By Blog

What can be really annoying in a retail environment? I’m pretty sure most of us would agree that waiting is close to the top of that list: Waiting at a till, waiting for a changing room, waiting for customer service or waiting for our shopping companion to browse through items that do not interest us. Standing idle and frustrated, feeling precious leisure time slipping away. We’ve all been there!  A recent study shows that 41% of consumers in the UK would leave the queue for the till if the wait was considered too long whilst 76% say they feel retailers should be doing more to reduce these wait times. 

In a busy shop there is only so much that conscientious, hard working staff and a premium, frequently modified visual layout can do to minimise waiting times and the subsequent negative impact on the customer. What more can be done? 

There is an easy tool at the retailers’ fingertips that can have a magic effect on our sense of time – music. 

In truth, this is no secret. This is one of the main reasons why telephone customer services often opt to use music during a waiting period. Background music has the potential to distort our sense of the passage of time, especially if it is well selected, enjoyable music. And – just a note for all the phone music planners out there – as long as it doesn’t repeat all the time! As soon as we are bored by music any transcendent effect wears off. If anything, repeating music is a reminder that we have been on the phone for longer than we would like. 

What is behind the musical ‘time travel’ effect? One of the most influential concepts in the psychology of enjoyment is the concept of flow. Flow is a state of mind where we are fully absorbed in our environment; it represents the perfect balance of cognitive involvement that means we lose all track of time. Colloquial terms for this state include being ‘in the zone’ or ‘in the moment’. 

Flow is often used to refer to a perfect state of concentration, for example at work, but one of the key elements to flow is that we lose all track of time. This is one of the powers of music. 

The music in our environment has the potential to capture lagging attention and to bring our level of concentration up to an optimum level where we are engaged in the present and enjoying our surroundings. One thing is for certain about flow states – they are never boring! If music can capture some of the joy of a flow state then there are clear potential benefits for a retail environment. We are likely to browse for longer and not be so aware of unavoidable service waits. And we appreciate the sense of quality and care that is triggered as a result. 

Evidence for this comes from a 100% genuine Facebook update that a friend of mine put up just the other day. I have removed the name of the government agency to which she referred: 

“Dear _______, If my call is so important to you then why have I had to listen to this poor quality music for over 20 minutes now? I’m beginning to think you don’t care! ” 

A well chosen music strategy can help create a bubble of time where the consumer is cushioned from the inevitable sense of boredom and frustration that is caused by having to wait. No-one likes to be ‘on hold’, but now and again it is inevitable – so why not try music as a way to dissolve the time and create a good impression. 

Background music


By Blog

The power of Background Music: Background music can put a spring in our step or a crimp in our day. But the power of music over us is not limited to us enjoying a favourite tune or marching for the door at the sound of a melody that gets on our nerves: musical sound has the power to affect us through automatic physiological responses, to the extent that we can respond emotionally to sound even when we don’t hear it. 

The noted music psychologist Patrick Juslin has suggested that our emotional reactions to music are based partly on subjective responses; on how we interpret our body’s response to the sound. Here are two examples of how music can influence our physiology and consequently have ‘hidden effects’ on how we feel. 

1) The “Darling, they are playing our song” effect 

One of the key forces behind musical responses is our own memories. Music plays a role in everyone’s life because it is present in so many celebrations and big life events, such as weddings, birthdays and religious ceremonies. The important nature of many of these events means that we attach strong emotional memories to certain pieces of music. 

Think of a favourite song for a minute, perhaps form your youth. Does it have a pleasant memory attached? Now…if I ask you to think about that memory for a minute…did you smile? 

Most people will smile while experiencing an enjoyable memory recollection. It is automatic. And one of the automatic consequences of smiling is that we feel better. In 1988 a famous study led by Fritz Strack had participants rate how funny cartoons were while holding a pencil in their teeth or their lips. The group who had the pencil in their teeth had their face artificially pulled into a smile – and the result was that they rated the cartoons as funnier than the group who were not permanently ‘smiling’. 

This study illustrates the power of a smile, even an artificial one, to improve our mood. And music has the ability to trigger smiles by stimulating our favourite life memories. So enjoying the music in our environment is more than just a simple happy response – that resulting smile can boost the rest of the day! 

2) The “Good vibrations” effect 

Humans can hear sounds in the range of 20 Hz to 20000 Hz. Sounds outside of this range are classed as infrasonic (like a dog whistle). Infrasonics are important to music because instruments often produce sound waves that we can’t hear; church organs have been using infrasonic music tones since the 15th century! 

So how do we respond to sounds below 20Hz? A fascinating experiment called ‘Infrasonic’ found that sounds below 20Hz can have a significant effect on our emotional responses to music. When infrasonic sound was played under a concert floor people experienced more chills down the spine and heightened emotional states. This experiment demonstrated how, once again, bodily responses can drive emotional reactions to music. 

Summary: When we respond to music, we are reacting to more than just a combination of sounds. If music triggers memories that make us smile, then we feel happier. If ‘soundless’ music raises the hairs on our neck, then we feel emotionally moved. These are just two examples of how music can have hidden and automatic effects on us, because we react with our body as well as our mind. 

Discover Immedia’s range of audio branding and engagement solutions – discover more below.


Our on-brand music offers more than just background music. Read more.

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Immedia PlC -Retail customer engagement specialist


By Blog

Future of Retail features an interesting article this month by Mark King discussing ‘Driving Traffic and Conversion Through Customer Engagement’ referencing Immedia very own partner JD Sports.

“Stores are the perfect place to bring brands to life. With engaged customers it’s easier to ramp up conversions…”

Should we be facing back in love with bricks-and-mortar space? Certainly, the bar in-store customer engagement is being raised all along the high street. They’re calling it the ‘Retail Renaissance’, a term which is thankfully replacing Armageddon’ in 2018’s industry parlance.”

“There’s no denying that traditional retail is under intense pressure, and that the sector is undergoing change the like of which hasn’t been seen since the industrial revolution. So, there is an urgent need for traditional retailers to outdo online competitors by offering incredible levels of engagement in stores, as well as operational efficiency that will keep costs under control, and shoppers loyal.”


“We see JD Sports delighting its customer base with prestigious athleisure brands, the latest in-store tech and lighting, and DJs popping in to provide a dynamic look, feel and sound. Down the road at value-led Primark, price continues to be the incredibly engaging, but the retailer is also cleverly keeping pace with mobile-obsessed shoppers and now using its massive 5.7million Instagram following to create conversations and drive shopper traffic into stores.”

“The specialist team at Immedia have the skills, knowhow and experience to enhance your individual brands customer experience, in-store and in app. Our expertly curated in-store music, in-store background music, marketing communications,  audio or visually with 3D,2D, video,  animation or virtual reality solutions and more. Speak to our team today for an award winning solution.”

Click here to discover the range of services Immedia Group PLC offer to help brands engage customer, improved the customer experience in-store and increase sales. Click here.

Discover Immedia & JD Sports success story

Merry Christmas


By Blog

Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2020 from all of the team at Immedia and AVC. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your business
and support over the past year and we look forward to working with you again in 2020!


Increase Employee Productivity


By Blog

Dr Becky Spelman a specialist in Cognitive Behavioural comments on the study of over 2,000 employed Brits commissioned by commercial radio Scala, found many wear headphones and listen to music to help concentration while working as bid to block out colleague’s noise.

“Music has a really powerful impact on the brain, it affects mood and mental and physical performance.” Dr Becky Spelman

A third of those studies even think they work harder whilst listening to music, and a further two in five of them believe their productivity is improved. 47 per cent claim to feeling less stressed when listening to music while working.

“Many people find that listening to certain types of instrumental music can help them with their productivity levels. The music can function as a sort of ‘white noise’, cancelling out potentially distracting ambient noise.”

“Provided the music has a calm, regular beat, it can actually help us to stay calm, reducing our stress, slowing our heart rate, and moderating our pulse.”

“This makes it easier for us to focus on the task at hand rather than entering into ‘flight or fight’ mode, in which it can be very difficult to think clearly because of our elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol.”

The results come after an experiment saw four office workers given a 600-word task to complete to see how music affects their productivity compared to being in a silent room. The results found that workers completed the task three minutes faster than they did with no background music.

“Many people find that listening to certain types of instrumental music can help them with their productivity levels. The music can function as a sort of ‘white noise’, cancelling out potentially distracting ambient noise.”

“Provided the music has a calm, regular beat, it can actually help us to stay calm, reducing our stress, slowing our heartrate, and moderating our pulse.”

“This makes it easier for us to focus on the task at hand rather than entering into ‘flight or fight’ mode, in which it can be very difficult to think clearly because of our elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol.”

The study also looked at those who worked from home, discovering that of those who listen to music in the workplace, six in ten are based in an office, with 49 per cent either always or sometimes working from home.

More than two thirds of those who work from home would “struggle” to concentrate without having music to listen to. Overall, 71 per cent of those studied who work from home on occasions listen to music throughout their day with 28 per cent saying it helps them feel less alone.

A quarter of those polled, via OnePoll, even said music is encouraged within their current workplace and 24 per cent feel it keeps them alert and awake.

Discover how Immedia’s solutions can increase employee productivity – click here.

Read full article click here.


By Blog

Essential Retail’s author Alastair Lockhart provides an interesting insight and research into the customer’s experiences perception over online buying. 64% said experiences are more important to them than products – rising to 73% for 18-34 year olds.

Currently online sales account for one-fifth of total retail sales and the evidence suggests the proportion will grow further. But with a growing appetite among shoppers for experiences and a number of online retailers exploring physical spaces, could there be light at the end of the tunnel for high streets?

While online retail is convenient, and is becoming more convenient as delivery times shorten, it struggles to deliver the level of experience stores can. Some 85% of shoppers tell us that online can never create the experience of physical shops. What’s more, shopper demand for experiences is growing rapidly.

It’s perhaps not surprising therefore that a number of online retailers are exploring physical spaces, from pop-up shops to more permanent stores

Click here to read more


By Blog

The Telegraph’s article looks at the affects of music and the taste of food within the hospitality industry following Nigella Lawson declaring that she is “allergic to all noise”.

According to a new study by the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford (co-authored by Charles Spence, an expert in sensory science and the author of Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating), auditory stimuli can impact both our experience and our consumer behaviour more than we realise (more on which later).

And there’s no doubt that the UK’s restaurants are noisy. According to charity Action on Hearing Loss, 79 per cent of people – both with and without hearing loss – have experienced difficulty holding a conversation while eating out, thus sabotaging the social aspect of the occasion.

According to Professor Charles Spence, there’s a line for restaurateurs to tread – since sales go up as noise volume increases. This is because it causes excitement, encouraging people to spend, drink and consume more (however, in extremes this can be unconsciously perceived as danger, making us feel anxious or threatened and leading us into fight or flight mode). Read more, click here.

Immedia was awarded ‘European Supplier of the Year’ for its services to international restaurant chain Subway. Click here to read more. 

Call us today to discuss how we can help you provide an entertaining and engaging customer experience in your restaurant brand.


By Blog


Smart banks know that the future generation of growth depends on a very specific group of consumers – Millennials.

As a group, Millennials are lost at sea when it comes to managing their personal finances, with 34 percent reporting they are unsatisfied with their current financial situation, and over 60 percent burdened by debt.

Unfortunately, while Millennials need the support of financial institutions and leaders, this generation has traditionally shown disdain for big banks, and a skepticism about financial wellness in general. Only 27 percent of Millennials have sought professional financial advice in the last five years, and four of the leading banks were ranked by Millennials as a least loved brand.

But while Millennials may have little interest in personal banking today, as this audience grows and matures, so will their financial needs. For example, 90 percent of Millennials expect to be impacted by a major financial event within the next 36 months – such as taking on a student loan, or buying a home or car. Only 8 percent believe they have the high levels of financial literacy needed to deal with these life events.

As Millennials experience increased levels of financial complexity, they will need somewhere to turn, giving banks an opportunity to shine – or get left behind, as new competitors enter the space in droves.

Can Banks Overcome Negative Millennial Attitudes To Drive Growth?It’s not surprising that Millennials have shown skepticism toward the banks. In addition to coming of age during the 2008 financial crisis, Millennials have long been ignored by traditional bank marketing and product strategies. As of 2017, 34% of financial marketing teams allocated over 50% of their media budgets to traditional media, and as recently as 2018, bank marketers ranked “attracting a younger audience” ninth on their priorities list.

Because banks fail to cater to the Millennial audience with personalized, differentiated messaging (and refuse to engage through their preferred channels) it’s no wonder that brand loyalty is low – with 53 percent of Millennials believing their bank doesn’t offer anything different than other banks.

In spite of the current state of affairs, there is opportunity for banks who are willing to invest in products, services, and marketing channels to charm and engage their Millennial audiences. Here are some tips for success.

Tip #1: Get Mobile
Millennials and Gen Z customers expect things to be fast, easy and self-service oriented. They want to be able to do things when and where they want to do it. This means investments in mobile.

Today, according to Salesforce’s 2017 Connected Banking Customer Report, “Nearly one-third of Millennials with a checking or savings account stated that they leverage their bank’s mobile app for most routine transactions such as deposits and transfers, compared to just 17 percent of Gen-Xers and six percent of Baby Boomers.” Millennials are accessing their financial information via mobile device eight and a half times more often than other generations; a trend that is only expected to grow with time.

Tip #2: Embrace Big Tech
In addition to embracing mobile solutions, banks must keep an eye out on the competitive landscape, as disruptors are emerging by the day. In order to compete, banks must launch more sophisticated personalization strategies that enable more targeted marketing and personalized experiences, which means investments in AI and data science.

Additionally, banks must take a more social approach to product development, that focuses on easy access to money, fluid exchange, and convenient payments. Millennials are less worried about risk, less afraid of technology, and more focused on convenience than any other generation. It’s no wonder this audience is the most likely to embrace expense-sharing – with FICO reporting that 52 percent of people aged 18–34 are already using or considering non-traditional payment company like Venmo, versus 27 percent of people aged 50 years or older.

Tip #3: Reinvent The Branch
There’s no denying Millennials love experiences. The success of the engineered-for-Instagram Candy Museum is a testament to that.

Millennials want to make memories in everything they do – even if it’s just a trip to the bank. In order to make banking fun, banks must gamify the experience, and offer Millennial-appropriate rewards – like hard-to-get concert tickets – to customers that open a new account.

When it comes to creating an experience, and an environment where Millennials will spend time and money, banks aren’t just competing with other banks – they are competing with retailers like Sephora and Apple too. So the branch experience must be memorable, personal, and strong enough to get people off the couch, and into the branch.

This is one reason banks like HSBC are investing in customer engagement solutions like Pepper, the humanoid robot that offers visitors a charming, charismatic, and fast alternative to waiting in line for a teller. Pepper can help customers address basic needs, without having to wait for staff support, and can free up staff to focus on better customer experiences. Not only has Pepper helped HSBC improve employee morale, but within the first five months of adopting Pepper, HSBC saw YoY growth of 44 percent.

Tip #4. Become A Trusted Advisor
While banks must invest in mobile, personalization, and other customer-friendly technologies to be at parity with the emerging tech players, in order to really differentiate banks need to double-down on their strengths.

Banks have always been a place where consumers can go to make big life decisions – about managing a portfolio, taking out a loan, and becoming more financially secure. But many Millennials don’t see banks that way.

If banks want to be seen as the place that Millennials can come to build financial stability and security, banks must find more effective ways to promote personalized products and services, and the branch interactive, educational, and engaging. By doing this, banks will have more opportunities to build relationships with Millennials, and do what they do best – provide financial advice.

There is Still Time To Win Over Millennials
While there are a lot of roadblocks for banks in the race to win Millennials, there is also a lot of opportunity. Because Millennials have been under served by big banks, they haven’t committed their loyalties to one bank or another. This gives banks that focus their attention on Millennials to build high value, long term relationships with them, ensuring a future of mutual success.

Discover how Immedia have help Nationwide and HSBC. Contact us today.

Live in-branch radio HSBC


By Blog

“A sound identity plays to a customer sense powerfully”
Andrea Newman, global head of brand at HSBC

When HSBC began a global refresh of its brand identity last year, the bank’s well-known red and white hexagon was the most obvious aspect, but no less important has been the development of a sound identity for the first time, says a top executive.

Writing in the June issue of Admap (topic: Audio: Prospering in the ever-present medium), Andrea Newman, global head of brand at HSBC, stresses the importance of having “a brand identity and experience that can work across any channel a customer may choose”.

And with many new platforms not having screens, “a sound identity plays to a customer sense powerfully”.

“From a business perspective,” she said, “if we didn’t have one, we risked further fragmenting our brand, meaning, distinctiveness, and – ultimately – our appearance in the mind of a customer.”

In Using sound to create a 360-degree brand identity, Newman charts the evolution of the brand’s thinking, from its own unsuccessful attempts to come up with something that would work in any context, from an ATM to large-scale sponsorship event, to its eventual recruitment of electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre to deliver an audio representation of the HSBC brand promise, “Together we thrive”.

From that initial melody and hook “Jean-Michel went on to deliver seven themes [which] cater for different scenarios when a customer interacts with us – whether on hold via telephone banking, at a stadium for the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament, a Private Banking forum or in a branch,” she elaborates.

“We have essentially created a toolkit for the organisation so that when we approach sound in any given experience, there is one unique, globally consistent source material to ease fragmentation and build a consistent, signature brand experience.”

Newman is excited about how this can take the bank in some new directions, not least in catering to the visually impaired as sound “can help punctuate a user experience online or offline”

Immedia are the proud partners of HSBC LIVE, providing the first LIVE radio station, with on-brand music and sound of voice. Call our team of specialists today to discover how we can increase your brands engagement and customer experience.

Source WARC