It’s no question that the Philippines has one of the slowest internet speeds in the region. We’re sure you’ve all experienced how frustrating it is to get a decent video stream of the latest episode of your favorite Koreanovela. Heck, even Alibaba founder Jack Ma, expressed his disappointment in our country’s internet.
Which begs the question: Should I use an online or offline service in playing my in-store radio? As obvious as the answer would seem, our honest opinion on the matter would be: it depends. While the poor condition of our country’s internet makes the online option an unlikely choice, we’re not ruling it out completely because it does have benefits you wouldn’t enjoy with its offline counterpart. Plus, not all internet connections are created equal. You might be one of the lucky ones who actually have a decent connection in Metro Manila.
So we’ll let you decide. Here are the top 3 features to consider in deciding what service works best for you.
1. Real-time updating
One of the factors required for in-store radio to be an effective marketing tool is that it needs to be up to date. The content being played at any point in time should always be in line with marketing timelines. What good are well crafted playlists and advertisements if they don’t reach your customers at the right time? A good example would be the ubiquitous Christmas music playing in most stores nowadays. Showing your customers that your playlist changes with the season sends a message of how well managed your brand is.
For an online service, real time updating of the content is almost a given. You can have all your updated music, advertisements, and greetings sent to your stores at just the click of a button. This makes it a very powerful tool in accomplishing marketing objectives. While prompt delivery of content is possible with an offline service, it is much more prone to delays. Shipping the material saved in flash drives or burned on CD’s to each of your branches can be a logistical nightmare, especially if you are working on very strict timelines with hundreds of branches located all over the country.
2. Seamless user experience
In-store radio is a great way to set the mood inside your stores. A fine dining French restaurant, for instance, could play French operas and ballads in the background making the experience more profound and enjoyable for its customers. The key for this to work is the uninterrupted playing of content. There is nothing that takes a customer out of an experience like a skipping track or a buffering file.
While online services do have a way to adjust their streaming based on certain internet speeds, it is not a 100% guarantee. With the fluctuating internet speeds and connectivity issues plaguing businesses, an offline service might be a more sound solution.
At the end of the day, businesses are concerned with how any solution implemented would affect the bottom line. While in-store playlists do have their upside in driving sales, the costs to implement an online solution versus an offline one could differ by significant amounts. In our experience, this is the factor that most businesses consider. So who is the clear winner here? Well, we can’t say for certain. Each business is unique and has differing needs that will all affect cost.
Winner: It depends...
If cost is a major issue, then businesses can opt to have their content prepared in-house. Although not as effective as a professionally managed in-store radio service, it is definitely a start. For those of you on a shoestring budget who would like to manage the content themselves, we recommend reading our article on 5 ways you can improve your store’s playlist (and increase sales)