Radio’s Role in the Valued Business of Retail

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Shopping habits have changed. Consumer expectations of the brands they purchase and where they purchase them have shifted dramatically. These changes will continue to impact retailers everywhere from Main Street to Broadway. Retailers of all sizes are constantly trying to navigate these changes, so it is important to understand the values of today’s shoppers.

Today’s shoppers have been influenced by many of the changes created by the pandemic. Working from home and casual lifestyles seem to be commonplace among adults. Adult radio listeners have also embraced some of these shifts, but there are nuances compared to nonradio listeners.

According to a survey fielded by Provoke Insights (and done in partnership with RAB), among 1,500 adults aged 21-65, radio listeners are making changes to their image. Seventy-one percent of radio listeners have adopted a more casual lifestyle with over 50% stating that they are wearing less jewelry and makeup. This shift shouldn’t be a big surprise since 39% of radio listeners plan to continue working from home. These are opportunities for advertisers in these categories. As these listeners work from home and their needs shift to a more permanent lifestyle, advertisers should consider incorporating messaging that addresses these lifestyle shifts.

There is great news for retailers. When it comes to radio listeners, it is all about the experience. According to the survey fielded by Provoke Insights, 71% enjoy the in-person experience of browsing and selecting items in store. Sixty-five percent of radio listeners prefer the in-store experience versus nonlisteners (56%). More than half (56%) are not only looking for the less costly brand alternative but are willing to splurge and one in three radio listeners is willing to spend more to stay on trend.

So, what are they buying? Adult radio listeners are buying clothing (71%), footwear (49%), beer (56%), liquor (48%) or wine (41%), home improvement items (34%) and so much more.

Radio matters. It matters because of the connection, the information it delivers and because it leads to sales. Based on this same survey, radio listeners agreed:

  • Radio informs them of products and services (55%).
  • Radio educates them about sales (51%).
  • Listeners feel an emotional connection with on-air personalities (40%).
  • Listeners seek out information after hearing a radio ad via website (37%), in store (25%) or social media (22%).

When it comes to reaching retail shoppers, radio has incredible reach. It not only plays a key role in the lives of listeners and in their local communities, but it also informs shoppers of where to go when they plan to buy. Whether it is casual clothing, athletic footwear or products that will help with their next home DIY project, radio has retailers covered. Radio reaches well over 80% of adults who purchased men’s or women’s casual clothing, spent $100-$499 on athletic shoes or who plan to do any home improvement, according to Scarborough data.

RAB members can view the full survey results here.


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