Petsmart deploys unique musical experience for pets, owners

| by Judy Mottl
Petsmart deploys unique musical experience for pets, owners

Pets spending time at a Petsmart PetsHotel are enjoying a much more lyrical experience these days as the retailer is piping in custom-made playlists aimed at soothing their overnight visitors. The chain hopes the music will inspire pet lovers to spend more time browsing the aisles, which usually ends in sales increases, during hotel drop-off and pick-u.

"As the trusted partner to pet parents and pets in every moment of their lives, we strive to have a very personal and engaging in-store experience,” Shane McCall, VP of store design and visual merchandising at PetSmart, told Retail Customer Experience in an email interview. “We listened to the feedback from our pet parents and associates to bring music back into our stores.”

The musical audio experience is a custom solution from Mood Media, which has designed various playlists running off its ProFusion iS Internet platform. Petsmart deployed the platform to its 1,450-plus locations in 10 weeks. The system lets a retailer automatically schedule music, integrate voice messaging and control all content in the store at a regional office or the corporate office.

Two music programs were specifically designed for the main shopping area and Petsmart's "store-within-a-store" PetsHotel on-site boarding facility, according to an announcement. There is upbeat happy music to drive a "fun," experience for pet owners and associates. Then there are some mellow tunes for pets saying at the PetsHotel.

"Specifically, in the PetsHotels, the focus was to calm the pets in this environment and create the most comfortable environment," explained McCall. "Through carefully selected music programming, the goal was to create a positive and pleasant atmosphere for a pet that is in a new place and surrounded by other pets. In the PetsHotel area, we want the pets to experience modern, mellow tunes that create a calm atmosphere to help them relax and enjoy their stay."

The dual-customer experience project comes at a time when pet retailers are facing the same challenges that apparel and services retailers are dealing with: sluggish sales and a consumer market that is getting much more mobile-device focused when it comes to buying products.

Just last week, Petco announced the re-opening of 12 stores following a major re-design involving a more neutral color scheme. The effort is aimed at driving greater interaction between pet owners and employees, according to a Seattle Times report.

The music strategy at Petsmart has a very similar goal.

"Our goal is to have music in the larger store environment that features an upbeat playlist and creates a fun in-store experience for passionate pet parents, their pet family members, as well as our store associates," said McCall.

Pre-deployment involved testing several playlists with different genres and songs.

"We will continue to review the playlists on an ongoing, regular basis," said McCall, who added there were no big hurdles in the effort and that Petsmart will continue playlist monitoring for continued enhancement.

Topics: Consumer Behavior, Customer Experience, Customer Service, In-Store Media, Marketing, Merchandising, Psychology, Retail - General, Shopper Marketing, Store Design & Layout, Technology

Companies: Mood Media

Judy Mottl

Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

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