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Higher Footfall: Can Music Increase My Retail Sales?

18/12/2018

Over the last century, music’s effect on our shopping behaviour has been proven time and time again. From television ads to music in store, we’ve come to expect our shopping experience to have a soundtrack. But how can this help drive sales?

Can you really change the mindset of a reluctant spender to someone willing to browse and purchase? If so, can this be done by the right choice of music?

As a society, we’re been aware of music’s link to customer behaviour for a long time. Whether it’s a supermarket or a department store you’re in, music is likely to be playing in the background. A 1982 study by Donovan and Rossiter gave this phenomenon a name: the ‘pleasure-arousal-dominance’ model (PAD). In their study, the store’s atmosphere is highlighted for its power to affect customers’ emotional states.

How does it work?

The types of music that a brand chooses can vary in volume, tempo, pitch, and texture. It depends on the products sold, and how likely it will resonate with their target customers on an emotional level and trigger the pleasure and arousal centers of the brain.

The pleasure centers control the release of feel-good chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, and the arousal centres dictate the release of stress-response chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol. These responses have the ability to influence the way shoppers behave. In their study thirty-five years ago, Donovan and Rossiter found that the pleasure and arousal centers in the brain were key to influencing shopper behaviour.

That’s why in-store music is a powerful mood-lifting tool for business owners. In the US, 50% of consumers agree hearing background music ‘puts them at ease’, while over 80% believe that it ‘lifts their mood.’ Considering that 37% of shoppers in the US feel more impulse to purchase when they’re in a good mood, music used effectively is a game changer for businesses to maximise potential sales.

Building your brand

Music can also be instrumental in cementing your brand image. In 2007, Nicolas Gueguen et al found that classical music played in wine stores not only increased sales, but encouraged customers to purchase more expensive merchandise.

Gueguen found that music effectively supports people’s perception of your brand. Those selling prestigious, high-end goods, should consider using refined, classical music for example. Meanwhile, if teenagers are your target audience, playing chart topping, catchy music and focusing on newer genres might be a better option.

Changing behaviours

Amazingly, in-store music doesn’t just affect a consumer’s mental behaviour, but physical too. The tempo can potentially control a customer’s pace as they browse your store. Slower, more leisurely music encourages shoppers to take their time and consider their purchases in a more relaxed atmosphere - leading to increases in sales. Faster-paced music can cause hurrying in customers, running the risk of fewer purchases being made.

Music makes shopping queues less boring, too. 77% of shoppers in the US agree waiting in line is less boring with background music, while 84% claim music makes shopping more enjoyable in general.

What’s more, Spectrio, a marketing solutions organisation, noted that music used effectively in store can even alter a customer’s perception of time. When shoppers are exposed to music they enjoy, they’re more likely to feel they had a positive experience, even if something negative had happened.

Why background music is a must

Not only does music create the right atmosphere, but it also drives sales. This is, however, only effective with an adaptable sound system capable of delivering the same sound quality across the whole shop floor to everyone.

If you’re looking for the perfect all-in-one solution for your shop floor sound system, Airsound might be just the ticket.

Where generic speakers need listeners to be stand between a left and right speaker to get the full stereo experience, Airsound’s unique technology modifies the sound for a full stereo experience anywhere you are in the store: from just one speaker.

Airsound’s streamlined controls make it a breeze to install and use - making it the perfect solution for retail owners. Now, you won’t need to buy or rent a complex multi-sound system to give your customers a premium listening experience.

If you need the perfect speaker to play your store’s new soundtrack, you can browse Orbitsound’s one of a kind speakers here.

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