Music is a really big part of our lives and it has been shown to affect our moods while listening to it. More than that, a study shows that people think it’s more difficult to live without music than without sports, movies or newspapers and it comes in 3rd place after internet and mobile phones. The right playlist can help us achieve our goals, go through rough times, cope with stress or just have a really good time even if you are out clubbing or chilling on a beach. It’s amazing, if we think about it, that music alone can have such an impact on our lives and that, unlike other forms of art, it has been around since forever.

It is scientifically proven that music played in stores makes customers stay longer and, in consequence, buy more. This could be explained by the fact that songs make people feel better, both clients and employees. Of course that when you feel good in a place that also has nice and friendly staff you tend to stay longer to enjoy the experience even more and you will keep coming back to that store.

What type of music should I play?

The type of music you play in your store makes customers subconsciously form an opinion about your brand even before seeing your products and influences what and how much they are buying from you. In an experiment, while playing French music, 8 out of 10 people French wine because it made them feel in a certain way.

You have to figure out how you want the customers to feel while they are in your store and try to induce those feelings via music. If you have a vintage collection or classic items, playing blues, jazz and other genres might help you sell those products faster. The same way, if your tore is mostly for teenage girls and your predominant style is trendy, modern, chic, pop music from well-known artists is the best option.

What about volume?

Volume is a really tricky part as customers believe it’s the most important aspect of retail music. It can be changed throughout the day or the season depending what type of customers you have. In general, music should be loud enough so that it can be clearly heard and make people feel energized while they can easily maintain a conversation without being bothered by the songs, not just be played in the background.

You can turn the volume down in the mornings when there are very few customers and want to start the day relaxed, or if your store has products for elders as they usually don’t like blasting music, but other than that find the right amount of decibels that work for you and your business.

Slow or fast tunes?

The tempo of the music you choose can also affect your profits. It alters the perception of time as it influences biological functions such as breathing and heart rate. The slower the music, the more time customers spend in the store which might make them buy more. Fast food chains use this trick to make customers leave as soon as they are done eating to make room for new ones. You can speed up the tempo when the store is full of customers to make them decide faster and eventually leave which helps you handle the situation better, but in general slow music is the best for a retail store.

From where do I get the music?

Always make sure that you pay for your music or that is legally procured. First, the quality of sound is better and your customers’ experience in your store I improved. When you pay for something you think about it and that happens with music too. Instead of playing whatever you have on hand, you play songs that really match with your store’s style and vibe and that have a message to send to people.

By buying music you support artists who are at the beginning of their career and others who need that support, so be the good guy in this story and set an example for others. Lastly, you avoid a scandal with record companies or artists that want their work to be paid. That would mean negative publicity for your business and will only hurt your profits in the long run so it is not really worth it.

Pay attention at how sound is distributed in the store. The sound should have the same intensity in all areas without exception. If your store is big, try to buy speakers from the same company so the songs sound the same no matter where you are in the store. It’s best to invest in a high-quality sound system but it’s not a must have as you can buy that later when your business is expanding.

As a conclusion, music really does help in retail. It can be a little overwhelming to start making the first playlist and choosing the perfect songs in tune with your business but your store deserves it. Take your time and do it right because you will only benefit from this and it might be your key to success.

There are numerous scientific studies to back up the theories I explained above so with a quick google search you can read them and get new ideas and even experiment yourself with your clients and see what works the best. For example, play a type of music for a week and another type the next week and compare the sales and see which music made your customers buy more. You can do the same experiments with pace and volume too or you can even make surveys, but that will cost you a little bit more time. Good luck in finding the best playlist possible for your retail business!