Travel agencies should offer customers iPads and play music in their shops to improve the retail experience, Aito Agents 2014 conference delegates have been told.

Charles Reid , business director of media planning and buying specialist Carat Media, suggested that allowing clients to research sites such as TripAdvisor in a travel agency, while offering to give customers more advice on destinations, could help secure a sale because of the influence of social media sites on holiday decision-making.

He said: “Offering wi-fi spots and tablets to check websites in your store could be a very compelling proposition.”

Agents were also urged to put  together playlists for background music that fitted their brand image and client base to boost the shop environment and encourage more clients to book.

Conference speaker Karen Willey, music development director of Music Concierge, which helps hotels and bars put together playlists of background music, told delegates that the right tunes could boost the bottom line as well as “giving people something to talk about”.

“Music makes money. People will stay longer in your shop and spend money,” she said. “It’s about tapping into people’s psyche. You can make people feel more upbeat.”