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Better Music = More Buying

The better the music, the better the sales…but what’s better music and how can you bring it to life in your store? In Store Music for gift shopsElevator music. Funeral marches. Dance hall music. Each of these names evokes a powerful sense of place, time and even memories. So take a second to perk up your ears in your store. What do you hear? Is your music complementing your store and appealing to your shoppers? Is it too loud? Are there commercials for other stores interpreting the peace of the shopping experience? In this blog we’ll look at the three main elements of music and their impacts on the shopper: Tempo, Volume and Genre. Then for extra credit, we’ll talk about messaging.

Slower music = Slower shopping
Intuitively it makes sense that slower music would lead to a slower shopping experience as shoppers naturally adjust their rhythm to that of the music. In fact, experiments conducted in the 80’s showed that both supermarkets (Milliman, 1982) and restaurants (Milliman, 1986) experienced this phenomena with the added bonus of high spends. Additionally, studies have shown that classical can trigger increased spending (but only for brands and products where it is appropriate). What we take from this is that you should consider slower paced music that appeals to your audience. If you have Pandora, check out the summertime stations like Beach Bar Lounge Radio.

Louder volume = Faster shopping
Studies have shown that shoppers will shop more quickly when the music volume is louder, regardless of the tempo. But the interesting thing is that their spend will be the same! So if you’re looking to move people through your store quickly, without a focus on experience, louder music could be right for you. However, another study showed the audience’s average age has an impact on the ideal volume level. Unsurprisingly, this second study found that younger shoppers like louder volume and tend to spend more time shopping when music is played at a higher volume. And alternately, older shoppers spend more time shopping when the music is played more softly. If your store appeals to just one of these groups, then you know where to set your volume button, if you appeal to both, then some experimentation is in order. We suggest you consider appealing to the group with a larger spend in your store.

“Good” music = Great shopping
Numerous studies have shown that consumers are more likely to purchase products when the music associated with them is aligned with the product. That means, the genre of music being played signals shoppers to buy specific items. For instance, during the holiday season, shoppers buy more holiday-related goods when Christmas music is playing in the store. By choosing music that connects with your shoppers, you can establish a positive relationship between your store and your customers.

One study investigated the effect of playing modern pop versus classical music in a wine store. The results showed that shoppers spent more while listening to classical music rather than Top 40. Interestingly, shoppers did not buy more wine but instead chose the more expensive bottles.

And for the extra credit…Messaging
Studies have proven that the right genre of music playing at the right tempo and volume will impact your customer’s spend. But there is another opportunity here for your store—the opportunity to inform your shoppers through in-store radio messaging. If you have multiple stores, or a specific message you need to share with shoppers, this could be an opportunity for you. One resource we found that can help with in-store music that contains messaging is CodiGo.

So sit back and take a listen to your in-store messaging and consider the impact it could be having on your customers. If you’re not sure, change up your music for a couple weeks and see if you have lingering shoppers or larger basket rings. Just be sure to change one thing at a time (Volume, Temp or Genre) to identify which is impacting shopper behavior.

Have you seen in-store music impact your shoppers? Have you tried in-store messaging? Did you see a change? We’d love to hear about music in your store in the comments below!

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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