How Customers Respond to Music

Music has a definite impact on customers, sometimes good and sometimes bad – depending on the music and the type of customers who frequent your business. So, considering the type of music and the noise level that will suit your customers is important.

There have been a number of studies conducted that examine how customers react to the music being played while they are in a retail establishment. In one study by Immedia Plc, originally published in Retail Wire in 2011, 40% of customers will stay longer in a business if they feel that the music is well chosen for the environment, and an equal percentage will spend less time if the feel the music isn’t suitable.

The first question though is not What kind of music should you play? but… Who are your customers? Once you know the demographics of your average/best customers, you can start planning the type of music to play that will keep them happy and shopping longer.

Background music is important to a shopping or dining experience if you want people to stay longer to dine or shop, play slower music, according to a study conducted through the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

In an article by Humayun Khan in Shopify, music can be used to help slow customers down, speed them up or get them to spend more. One study looked at the effect of music on wine purchases in a UK store found that when stereotypical French music was played the sales of French wine far outsold German wine. When German music was played the German wines sold much better.

In another study, it was found that classical music played in a wine store increased sales and led customers to buy more.

And how loud should the music be? According to an article in Psychology Today by Emily Anthes, “Shoppers make more impulsive decisions when they are over-stimulated. Loud music leads to sensory overload, which weakens self-control. These tactics work better on a younger clientele, so if that is the demographic you are looking to attract that might be the way to go. Remember though that you may lose many older customers.

If you find that you have a varied customer base, younger and older customers, study their visiting and buying habits, based on the music you are playing at the time.

Experiment with different types of music to see if your customers are enjoying it and spending money, then change it and see if the length of time that customers spend in your business is shorter or longer and whether sales are up or down. Once you have decided what works, stick with it.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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