Music has played a major role in people’s life even from the beginning of the first created sounds. Despite the fact that music has changed over the years (mainly due to the technology) its effects and influence upon our brain have not… And this is something that retailers are aware of. Even more than this, a well-trained and prepared retailer knows what music to play in the background of his store – and here we are talking about genre, tempo, pitch, pace and volume.
The Importance of Volume
As early as the year of 1982 people knew how powerful music can be, thanks to a scientific study made by Donovan and Rossiter – they both studied stores’ atmosphere and purchasing behavior and reached the conclusion that no matter how music is used, one way or another, it will emotionally affect the future clientele (notably women because apparently they seem to be more sensitive regarding music – if women listen to sad music or to music that has depressing lyrics they are more likely to feel upset than men).
Another study from 2013 (conducted by Myriam V. Thoma) confirmed this – 60 women aged 25 years old were exposed, while in a store, to loud music of flowing water, blowing wind and singing birds (common sounds that are usually used for relaxation) for a moderate period of time. The results were shocking; despite the fact that the main purpose of that sound is to help people unwind, because of the high volume it only got all the women stressed and feeling anxious. This is why everything has to be balanced – otherwise unwanted effects can occur.
The Importance of Genre
Equally important as the volume of music is its genre, especially in women apparel stores. There are certain genres that are recommended to be avoided (or as an unwritten rule they are even strictly forbidden), such as rock, heavy metal, rave, reggae, rap and hip-hop music. Several studies have shown us that the songs’ topics and lyrics are not suitable for browsing through the stores – mainly because the message that is to be transmitted is violent, racist, homophobic, and misogynistic or might have sexual hidden references.
Without even realizing, people are negatively affected by several genres and they can easily be influenced. For instance, rave music or electronic music will agitate clients and make them feel like they are in some sort of club or at a festival, like they need to hurry up – thing demonstrated by studies held in 1997 and 1999.
Heavy metal and rock music are often associated with delinquency, recklessness and suicidal thoughts – imagine entering a beautifully decorated in pastel colors store while screamo music is playing, it just does not feel right. Last but not least, rap or hip-hop music tends to have the most sexist, objectifying and stereotypical lyrics who might easily offend women. Be that as it may, we can clearly see why women would not feel comfortable shopping in a store that might bring down their mood, make them feel stressed or insulted.
What Genre of Music Would be Adequate for Women Apparel Store?
As concluded, playing the unsuitable kind of music in a store will make the customers feel unsatisfied and it is likely they will never return – but not playing any kind of music at all will lead to negative effects, approximately 70% people from a survey declared that they would not return to a store where the music is absent. But there is a way between.
First of all, the target needs to be undoubtedly established – here, we are talking about women (the most important things that should be taken into consideration are their age and the country and part of the country where they live in) and the best options are: classical music or jazz (if we are talking about a store that is selling expensive and high-class clothes – mostly used in stores who sell products for women who are over 30 years old), indie music (if the store is trying to induce a hipster atmosphere) or pop music, meaning everything that is fashionable and in the tops in that period of time (this is suitable for every regular store, for instance, every clothing store from a mall).
These last two types of genres are highly suggested for stores that are selling clothes to teenage girls and young adults. Although at first, these genres seem to have nothing in common, they all set a calming and relaxing ambiance and even more – they encourage women to buy as many things as possible.
In addition to this, apparently these genres act as a buffer and help women escape from their quotidian life and maybe from their problems or dramatic situations they are finding themselves in. In such a store they will feel free and comfortable enough to try on all the clothes and they will be able to have casual and maybe intimate chat with their girlfriends – and in such situations music is needed the most. The shoppers will truly feel like they belong in that store and will have no problem into discussing whatever it is that they want and thanks to the music, everything they chatter about will be covered by the music so they will feel safe enough.
Obviously, music is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when we are talking about a retail store, especially about one that uniquely is selling clothes and other feminine products to women. The right music has the magnificent power of makings buyers feel confident and overjoyed; it will help increase the number of sales and the popularity of the store. And as women always talk about what is it that they like or dislike, a store that will create a welcoming ambiance for them is clearly going be a big success because they will surely go and tell their friends about it – and all of this only because music has the power to make someone feel like they are home.
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