Auditory notification of customer actions in a virtual retail environment: Sound design, awareness and attention
Eriksson, Martin Ljungdahl
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In this paper, we introduce sonification as a less intrusive method for preventing shoplifting. Music and audible alerts are common in retail, and auditory monitoring of a store can aid clerks and reduce losses. Despite these potential advantages, sonification of interaction with goods in retail is an undeveloped field. We conducted an experiment focusing on peripheral auditory notifications in a virtual retail environment, evaluating aspects such as awareness and attention, sound design and noticeability, and localization of event sounds. Results highlighted behavioral differences depending on whether users were informed about the presence of auditory notification sounds or not. The alerts did not cause distraction or annoyance and we suggest that the findings give a promising starting point for future studies and investigations focused on improving the auditory environments in retail.