When you are out shopping on a Friday evening, leaving behind a long week of work and kicking off a well-deserved weekend, what draws you to a particular store? Of course, if you are shopping for something specific, it can be a certain item you eye in the window, the big sale signs everywhere or maybe just your loyalty towards that particular store. However, if you are just strolling around, looking to kill time, it might as well be the music echoing out of the store that which invites you to take a look around and maybe even makes you purchase something.
Scientists and retailers alike have been experimenting with music, and since catchy beats can be heard everywhere, we have good reason to believe they found a significant correlation between playing music in retail stores and spending habits. Here are 9 reasons why every retail store should play music in their store:
#1. To create a shopping experience
Nowadays, when shopping, customers look for more than just purchasing what they need. They are looking for something we could call a true shopping experience. Our society has evolved in this direction: instead of working sporadically in spurts of inspiration and dedication, we are forced to follow tight schedules regardless of the way we feel. After you have put in your work for the day, you get your well-deserved time off. As retailers, we want people to spend their free time browsing through our stores. For this to happen, we must make sure we go further than just putting our products up for sale. We want people to come in for the prospect of fun times, which is something music can help us deliver, and have them stay in order to buy what we are offering.
#2. To improve the customers’ mood
Humans are creatures of mood. You have probably heard many variations of that cliché before, but that’s what makes it true: people relate to it, and so they quote it again and again. No matter how positive you are in general, your bad mood at a given time is going to overpower that. If you want people to spend more in your store, you must make sure they are in the right mood to open up their wallets. And it just so happens that music is a very handy solution to this issue. Upbeat music with a positive message ensures that your customers’ morale stays high up and their shopping bags are full to the brim with your merchandise.
#3. To build and shape your brand
What makes your store stand out? Figuring out the answer to that question is the first step towards building a brand. And the music you play in your sound system can help you enhance whatever you choose to make of that answer. A lot of times, the beats you hear before stepping into a store are enough to paint an accurate picture of the store’s personality, and customers enjoy that. They come into a store with certain expectations of what they will be offered, based on the sensory input they receive, and when their expectations are met, they feel rewarded. In order to achieve this effect, you should pay close attention to what your brand is trying to convey and then select music that caters to that. This is the key to avoid deceiving your customers.
#4. To keep customers coming back
If the experience you have offered is memorable enough, people are going to come back. After all, building a client base is common sense in the retail world. When people enjoy the atmosphere you have created through carefully selected tracks and radio stations, they are going to remember it every time they walk by your store, thus increasing the possibility of their return. This ties in with the shopping experience point debated earlier. Bottom line is you want people to have a good time in your store, because that is a big part of what ensures their return with their next paycheck.
#5. To create a cool work environment for your staff
How many people can confidently say they enjoy great music at their workplace? Give your staff those bragging points by playing music in your retail store. Recent studies have discovered that productivity increases in work environments where music is played. They have also shown that people who listen to music tend to gain in accuracy, speed, creativity and problem-solving abilities when working on various tasks. Also, music is known to affect time perception, which means your staff won’t feel the perhaps long days of work drag on and on.
#6. To make the customer feel at home
Privacy is very important when it comes to building the right shopping atmosphere. Now, unless you want to build individual shops for each of your customers, we have a problem. Luckily, there is nothing that music cannot fix. Music played in stores can block out most conversations and movements, ensuring that your customer is unbothered by external stimuli and can go about looking for the right size of that shirt he really likes, even though there is a mother-daughter argument going on quite close to him about whether that dress is appropriate for prom or not. However, a quick tip: in achieving this effect, bear in mind that you should never exaggerate with the volume. Research has shown that people are annoyed by loud music and tend to spend less time in stores that turn the volume knob all the way up.
#7. To create a seasonal ambiance
Here I don’t just mean Christmas music, because all seasons tend to have a specific kind of sound associated with them. Of course, Christmas music is the one that first pops into our heads, because it brings out warm and fuzzy memories for all of us. When those Christmas-themed items come into your store, it is best to start playing music that matches them, as it brings the holiday spirit along and makes people want to surround themselves with the staples of the season, such as scented candles, chocolate, mulled wine and the incredibly fashionable ugly sweater. The same goes for the other seasons: beach music for the summer, which is sure to put your customers in the mindset for a pool party, but not before buying a new swimsuit, some flip-flops, cold beer and ice-cream.
#8. To make waiting in line less dreadful
Because you have started playing music in your retail store, it is now full of people, and they are all buying your products. Now the lines for the cash registers are getting quite long, despite the mighty efforts of your staff. Luckily, your customers won’t feel the long wait, because as we have mentioned before, music affects our perception of time. Even if the lines look dreadful from the outside, for the people actually waiting in line and listening to the music on the speakers, time is going to fly. The sound will carry them away, and by the time they realize where they are, your employee has already thanked them for their purchase and they will be on their way out.
#9. Just because you can
Both research and experience prove that music is a great tool in retailing. You are given the option to improve your store in so many ways through something so effortless. With virtually no disadvantages and many more advantages than those just presented, if your store is still silent, you should start playing music as soon as possible.