When it comes to music in your business, there is a lot to consider. All too often, business owners make the mistake of playing the music they enjoy versus the music that could actually provide a noticeable impact to bottom line. As seen in 2005 research completed by the American Psychological Association, music was the key sensory factor in making impulse buyers purchase more, and of those that made an unintentional purchase, it was noticed that these purchasers dropped nearly $30 more than planned when exposed to music in the store.
However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” method for determining what will work best for your space. Outlining business goals — selling more, retaining customers, providing an outstanding experience — can help develop a winning audio strategy. From improved mood, to altered perception of time, to the development of a desired emotion, the benefits of audio are clear. Three elements have research-backed effects on consumer behavior in-store, and should be considered when determining what playlist should come from the speakers in your space:
Research has found that tempo is closely correlated to the actions that a consumer subconsciously takes. For business owners, this is incredibly powerful, as you have the ability to dictate exactly how you want customers to behave. It has been shown that slower music keeps people around longer, which typically results in visitors purchasing (up to 32%!) more as duration increases. For example, slow music played in restaurants caused customers to eat slower and spend a noticeably greater amount on alcohol — perfect for fine dining establishments, or the afternoon lull. However, if a fast-casual restaurant is experiencing a dinner rush and a shortage of tables, faster-paced music can make patrons believe they have occupied the space longer, thus turning tables faster as a result. The tempo of the background music in a space can not only provide a tangible change in the atmosphere of the business but can alter the mood of visitors in a positive manner when thoughtfully executed.
The volume of music also is important to consider when utilizing audio in your space. While most research agrees that the volume of music should match the energy of the patrons of your space, there are a few additional factors to consider. First, loud music has been correlated to less time spent shopping when compared to softer music played in stores. Additionally, young shoppers tend to respond better to music played in the foreground of a space, versus older shoppers who typically stay in a space longer when music is in the background. Determining specific business goals will help define exactly where your volume dial should sit. The Association for Consumer Research found that loud music will keep customers constantly flowing through a space, whereas quieter tunes will help customers stay and enjoy the ambiance a little longer.
The genre of music to play in a store is fairly dependent on the ideal customer for a business. Family-friendly establishments have seen better results when country music is played since 42% of Americans listen to and prefer that genre. However, high-end liquor stores have seen customers leaving with more expensive bottles of wine when classical music is guiding them through the space. Consumers have noted that classical music has made them feel more sophisticated, and therefore, they wanted their purchase to reflect that feeling. This is also apparent during the holiday season, as retailers have noticed higher purchase rates of festive goods when Christmas music is playing versus a non-seasonal playlist. Music has the ability to connect with a specific emotion, making customers feel something in regards to a product, rather than think about the purchase. Additionally, determining what genre most closely relates with your target market is important because you may want to avoid it, as research showed that consumers spent 8% less time shopping when they heard recognizable music versus unfamiliar tracks because they perceived time to pass more quickly.
The right music cannot only help customers stay longer in your space, but also can make them excited to come back. However, perfecting your playlist can take precious time and attention away from your business. Audio Experience Software can make your job easier with a library of curated playlists, thoughtful scheduling capabilities, and access to professional voice talent to speak directly to your customers — saving business owners time and energy, while still allowing them to reap the benefits that come with tailoring the customer experience. The right music, at the right time, can influence customers to stay longer, spend more, or feel more positively about their experience. Music can reinforce a message and emphasize the influence of the entire, holistic shopping experience on customer behavior creating happier customers and a better bottom line.
Interested in learning more about using an Audio Experience Software (AES) platform and how audio can revolutionize the customer experience in your space? Request a demo of Vibenomics today and learn how you can start creating on-brand music and messaging for your customers.