When you are a retail store owner and you want to play background music in order to enrich the shopping experience of your customers, you might bump into some obstacles. Maybe you are aware of that, and that is why you are reading this article: to get informed. Well, in this case, you have already taken the first step towards choosing the right type of music, which is doing your fair share of research into the fascinating field of retail music.
If you are interested in improving your store considerably, you might already know or be able to guess that choosing the type of music to play in your retail store is one of the most difficult and important decisions you will have to make in building a brand. That is precisely why that decision should be both informed and deliberate.
Now, don’t feel like I’m trying to scare you away. Like the majority of things one would consider good, creating a pleasant playlist for your retail store takes a lot of time, experimentation and risk. However, the results are well worth the effort, and the effort is not that monumental come to think of it.
If you pay attention to some key points and try to blend together the data from those key points, you can create a spectacular playlist that is sure to make your customers feel hyped to shop in your store and keep them coming back. In order to choose the right type of music for your business, think about:
- Who YOU are
It is said a lot that retailers focus way too much on choosing the music they like, rather than paying attention to what customers and employees want to listen to. However, let’s reflect on that: if you are the owner or the manager, you are the brand. And that does not just give you the power to make choices, it even requires you to.
If at any point during the “construction” of your playlist, you start to realize that your taste in music compliments the brand and it makes it feel closer to you, don’t be afraid to include music that you like in the playlist for your store. If you feel that your personal choices when it comes to music reflect the choices you have made for your brand, that is a beautiful connection that is worth sharing with your customers and employees. And they will be able to feel it as well.
- Your target customer
Sure, you are important, because you are the brand itself. But you depend on the customers, and that makes them more important. It is very important in general for a brand to get to know its target customer, not just for the purpose of choosing the right retail music.
However, when it comes to this, getting an accurate image of your customer sure helps. To get it right, the question you should be asking yourself is: “What does my target audience want to listen to?”. If you own a clothing store that sells items that cater to the youth, going with the music that is on the charts is sure to work to your advantage. If you run an antique shop, going with the greats of classical music would probably be the right choice. And if you have a local shop that sells handmade items catered to hipsters, you can choose to play music produced by local indie artists.
In case you are uncertain of the type of music your customers would like to listen to while shopping in your store, here is a quick tip: ask your employees to survey them at the checkout! This implies merely a short question and a brief answer on their part, which represents valuable data for you and your retail strategies.
- Your employees
Because, after all, your employees are the ones who have to listen to the music you are playing for the biggest amount of time. In this sense, the best solution is to simply ask them what they would want to be added in your retail store playlist. When you show them consideration even in the slightest of details, such as the background music, they will certainly feel more appreciated.
How do you go about actually putting on the music they indicate to you as their favorite? Simply insert it here and there in the playlist, and watch them get happier and more productive every time their favorite song comes on. Their well-being will reflect itself in many ways in your store: happier employees make customers themselves happier and they tend to be more productive. So listen to your staff, and in turn, allow them to listen to their favorite music while at work.
- The specific and atmosphere of your store
Imagine stepping into a fancy liquor store and hearing screamo being played in their sound system. That would simply feel wrong. Avoid this by carefully considering the atmosphere your store is trying to convey. If you own a flower store, try playing some serene folk music and see if it compliments your brand.
If you run an electronics store, maybe put on some electronic and alternative beats to go with the futuristic look all those gadgets give your store. When the right music is playing, the one that brings out the best in your store, giving your brand more personality, you will see a great increase in customer satisfaction and quality of shopping experience. Just ask yourself “How do I want people to feel in my store?” and choose the right music to achieve that effect.
- Trying new things
This is a very complex topic and there is much to take into account. That is what makes it so difficult to get it right the first try. Luckily, nothing is set in stone when it comes to music and playlists, as you have to keep updating them on a regular basis, to maintain their fresh sound. Experimentation with sound is thus rendered very easy: make the changes you feel like making, and see how it goes. Put the music (and yourself) out there and take a risk.
It might just pay off. However, if it does not, you will know what types of music do not work for your store, and that information is equally as valuable as knowing which songs work perfectly. You need both sides of the spectrum in order to achieve an optimal state and narrow down the suitable range of genres and sounds. Therefore, nothing can really be lost when taking a risk in this case, especially since we are talking about something so harmless, like music.
Even though it might seem complicated at first, bear in mind that there is no definite right or wrong in choosing the right type of music for your business. Even if you miss to reach your target customer at first, the music has most likely be enjoyed by someone else, so all is not lost. Listen carefully, keep trying and don’t be afraid to take risks. And that goes with just about anything in retail.