If there’s one thing that retail shopping will always have that online shopping will not, it is multi-sensory experience. Online shopping has limited sensory experience and can only get customers to use their sense of sight and hearing. Retail shopping on the other hand, can take advantage of having customers experience more, and each sensory experience can be further heightened for better customer enhanced overall experience.
For this blog, we will focus on the hearing sensory experience, particularly on store music.
You may have noticed that most stores, if not all, play music either foreground or background. This is because research and studies have shown that by playing music in business establishments can influence shoppers to behave accordingly. Depending on the genre, volume, tempo, etc., certain emotions will be triggered and certain behavior follows. Music has the likelihood to bring out emotions and as well all know our emotions highly influence our behavior. It doesn’t matter if we are listening to music consciously or unconsciously. It will have an effect on us.
Below are results of some research and studies conducted in the past:
- “Loud music causes customers to move through a supermarket more quickly, without reducing sales volume.”
– Cain-Smith & Curnow (1966)
- “Low-tempo music causes shoppers to move slowly, but they also buy more. Similarly at restaurants, slow music causes people to take their time but buy more.”
– Milliman (1982 & 1986); Caldwell & Hibbert (1999)
- “Classical music versus Top 40 music at a wine store increases sales and leads customers to buy more expensive merchandise.”
– Areni & Kim (1993)
- “People perceive a shorter wait time when they hear music that they like.”
– Stratton (1992)
“Different strokes for different folks.” Simply playing music in your store will not cut it. As you can see with the results above, you have to play the right genre of music in order to trigger the appropriate emotions to exhibit the expected behavior. There are a number of facets of your customers to consider in choosing the right music for your store like gender, age, ethnicity, pop culture influences, etc.
Gathering as much information as you can about your customers can significantly help you choose the right genre of music, but you will always have to consider if the music also appeals to your brand and products that you offer. Certain genre of music can influence customers to purchase particular products than the others.
The volume of the music also plays an important role. Studies have revealed that loud music influences customers to spend less time shopping compared to soft music, but has no strong correlation on the amount of purchase. Playing music in the background seems to cause older customers to spend more time shopping compared. On the other hand, younger customers seem to spend more time shopping if music is played in the foreground.
The tempo of the music also affects how much time customers spend shopping. Studies have shown that playing slow music seems to cause customers to significantly spend more time shopping and matched with a significant increase in sales. Fast music seems to have lesser impact increased sales.
Regardless of your purpose in playing music in your store, whether you just want to listen to music or you want to take advantage of how music affects your customers, it will always enjoyable to listen to music. Whatever music you end up playing, it will definitely put a wonderful atmosphere in your store for both customers and employees to enjoy.