Music moves everyone. Whoever uses it properly
will have happy customers and full cash points.

When we talk about the future of retail, we are always talking about feelings. Emotionally moving potential buyers, making positive associations with the buying experience. Buyers need to feel comfortable, take two or three products home with them, and, please come back soon. What can help: Setting the scene for brands and products in the shop in an authentic and sensible way. But what really helps for sure: Music. There is nothing else in the world that moves us all equally. Not always the same, but with the same intensity. Music brings up memories and emotions – and properly used, it even makes us want to purchase.

We can see how much music influences our mood and our lives on a daily basis. Some days begin terribly, but then we hear the new Beyoncé. Suddenly everything feels good again. Or, it’s already feeling pretty good and Justin Timberlake makes it even better. Or, we want to wallow in our self-pity a little longer and put Adele on. This advantage – that music can directly have an effect on us – can be used by retailers for their benefit. (Regardless of the extra point they could earn compared to online shopping.) That’s why department stores need to move away from pure background noise to creating special soundtracks for their customers.

A shopping soundtrack that suits the business
and the atmosphere is worth the money.

While there is a difference between industries and products – not every type of music fits everywhere – in general, calm and quiet music creates a pleasant atmosphere in the shop encouraging customers to stay longer. Slower music tends to be conducive to more selling. Loud music tends to motivate customers to shop faster. But: They still buy the things on their shopping list; in other words, not less. Genre, loudness and tempo are some of the factors that influence purchasing behaviour. But a song’s language or the origin of the artist also has an affect on what a customer will put in his basket. A study by the psychologists Adrian North and Lorraine Sheridan (Curtin University) and Charles Areni (Macquarie University) clearly showed this. While customers thought about beer and sausages whilst listening to German music at a department store, it was wine whilst listening to French music. So, whoever has fine wines from France on their shelves should add as much Edith Piaf as possible to their playlists. Also interesting: With classical music playing in the background, customers are willing to pay more compared to other music or no music. This was especially true for ‘social identity’ products associated with prestige and a sophisticated (expensive) lifestyle. Such as fine perfumes or exclusive jewellery.
The study also revealed: Customers who know ahead of time what they want to buy stay with that. However, sales can still be increased when the song choice on the playlist has been crafted with care. Because, wherever music is playing, cash points are ringing.