Monday, November 16, 2015

Secret Retail Weapon? Set the Mood!

Your brand is your baby and the tone you set in your store – from the layout to the lighting to the color scheme – embodies what means the most to you. But do you have this same control over how your store feels to customers? What are the subtle nuances—the ambience—that can make customers want to linger—or lunge for the door?

A lot of it has to do with music! You probably already know that music has a marked effect on a customer’s shopping and purchasing decisions. If you’ve ever noticed how the ambiance can suddenly shift in your store when that perfect, magical song comes to an end, then you’ve already seen how music has tremendous control over the human mood. But you might not be aware of studies that have been conducted in this area, which can help you pinpoint exactly which elements of music have the best retail-friendly effects on your customers.

The European Journal of Scientific Research found the following in their study titled “Effect of Background Music on Consumer’s Behavior:”
1.      Mood. Through tempo and volume, music can affect a customer’s mood – which can be positive or negative – leading customers to stay in the store longer and potentially buy more, or leave sooner.  
2.      Perception of Time. Music can also affect a customer’s perception of time, causing them to stay in the store longer – although this may not necessarily increase the probability of a sale.
3.      Perception of Merchandise Worth. Certain types of music can, through an association with an elite segment of society, create a perception of enhanced product worth, which could result in a sale.

·         Studies regarding the loudness of music have shown that customers left more quickly from supermarkets where loud music was being played, but that this did not necessarily affect sales
·         Studies in tempo have indicated a relationship between slower-tempo music and a lower traffic flow—yet a paradoxical increase in sales
·         Studies also indicate that while they’re listening to music, customers have a more realistic perception of passing time—meaning they could end up lingering in your store because they don’t have that nagging feeling that they’ve been in there longer than they really have.

So the big question is, with something as subjective as music, how to best create a playlist that will keep customers shopping long enough to appreciate everything your store has to offer! The answer might be a bit more scientific than simply plugging in your sales clerk’s favorite band. Music might well be just as important an aspect of merchandising as fixtures, lighting, and attractive window displays!

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