How Overhead Music Drives Consumers Emotionally To The Stores

The Pied Piper Used Music To Boost His Business. Do you?

 A study presented in the Frontiers in Psychology Journal stated how music drives consumers by triggering the following four responses among the listeners:

  • Arousal
  • Cognitive
  • Emotional
  • Social

It’s far more impactful than being just a source of entertainment.  It creates a strong impact on the emotional well-being of the listener. In addition, Music drives consumers as it evokes powerful emotions that trigger progressive decision making.

In stores, overhead music influences consumers’ action tendencies. Every beat and note create a unique impact on the human brain. If you ponder on deep music psychology, you will learn how every genre creates a distinctive outcome. A certain rhythm fills your heart with sadness while the other one rejoices with its sweetness. The profound impact of music becomes evident if you look at its role in the retail industry.

How Overhead Music Drives Consumers Of The Retail Industry

“Just as interior design is part of the in-store experience, music has become an important competitive tool for business owners.”

Have you ever noticed that every other retail store has some background music constantly entertaining its buyers and visitors? What’s the science behind playing tracks at a retail store? How does the overhead music influences consumers’ decision, motivating them to purchase?  Let’s dig in a bit about shopping music and the psychological impact it creates on the buyers.

Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior

Based on the findings presented in a (North, et al., 1999) study, consumers in a Supermart were exposed to two different in-store music- French and German tracks. According to the results, with German tracks, French wine sale accelerated. However, with French tracks, the German wine sale outshined. Hence, the right audio branding greatly impacts a store’s success.

Enhanced Shopping Time

Enhanced Shopping Time

Music can emotionally stimulate a listener changing his relationship with time. It makes a person perceive the duration to be moving faster or slower. That’s why every waiting room plays a certain genre of music to keep visitors distracted. It reduces the subjective duration of time they spend at that place. Not only this, people tend to stay for longer without panicking or getting restless.

The Soundtrack Your Brand conducted a study in a department store. It shows the impact of background tracks to enhance the shopping time of a buyer. The results clearly show how different tracks impact the total time a consumer spends in a store. Youngsters tend to spend more time in an outlet if the overhead track is slow and calm. They prefer instrumental tracks. However, buyers over 50 years prefer pop music with a more cherishing rhythm.

Accelerated Sales

Famous research named Miliman (1982) showed a staggering increase of 34% in the time a buyer spends in a supermarket having impactful background music which led to a boost in the overall sale. Music tends to hold the attention of a buyer. It indulges buyers in the auro of the store garnering their concentration thus ultimately converting a visitor into a prospective lead.

The Emotional Connection

You cannot switch between your playlist and predict a prosperous outcome in terms of increased sales in your store. You have to stick to a single genre and stay consistent with it. Moreover, the purpose of using music in the background is to capture the emotions of the listeners. Leave a lasting impression on them by building an emotional connection. They should be drawn emotionally thereby upscaling a store’s progress.

How Overhead Music Helps To Set The Mood

“Positive moods increase the probability that individuals will engage in behaviors with expected positive outcomes, and decrease the probability that individuals will engage in behaviors with expected negative outcomes.”

If you are eager to find out how does rhythm affect your mood, attend an uninteresting event with ear pots connected to your favourite playlist. You will find out how easily music can set you in the mood.

In addition, music can help set the mood of your consumer. You may have to dig up a little to learn about the appropriate preferences of your target audience based on the age, geography and gender. Create a playlist that has the power to target the diverse group of audience to reap prosperous outcomes.

Now, the real trouble is finding the right track that leads to creating a favourable influence of music on mood. For instance, a study presented in 2000 showed that playing a popular track has a negative impact on the store’s sales. Furthermore, popular tracks create a distraction. Your buyer would get indulged in the track rather than focusing on the products displayed.

The Music Tempo

The tempo of your music creates an impact on consumer behaviour as well. A track with a slow tempo can ignite boredom and dullness among your buyers. On the contrary, an over-energetic tempo can ignite a feeling of panic.

Furthermore, an extract from the Milliman study showed the impact of tempo on a store’s sale.

“In this study, the average gross sales increased from $12,112 for the fast tempo music to $16,740 for the slow tempo music. This is an average increase of 38%.”

And about the consumer’s behaviour in the store it stated,

“Customers moved slower when slow music was played, taking 128 seconds, and faster when fast music was played, taking 109 seconds.”

Wrap Up

Music is like therapy. It can make you do things you never imagined. It can alter your beliefs and persuade you. In addition, it can make you witness different emotions at the same time producing your targeted outcomes.

So, to create a lasting impression on your buyers it’s imperative to select your track wisely keeping the preferences of your target audience into consideration. Remember not to fall for your favourites as it’s about building up your brand recognition. Opt for tracks that can entice your buyers and sketch an inspiring image of your brand.


How does the future look for the Brick-and-Mortar Industry?

Have your business decisions been myopic and you haven’t figured out the Plan B to adapt to the shifting dynamics of retail?

Are you too late into the game of Brick and Mortar? Who knows what the future could look like for the Brick and Mortar Industry? The best we can do is to help you understand how the most successful businesses have given their retail outlets a makeover to survive from the juggernauts. 

Read this post till the end before making up your mind about the next big business decision.

Are the retailers in trouble?

The alarm went off in 2019 when retailers in the United States announced 9,302 store closings, a 59% jump from 2018.

This has even intensified in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic when there’s a long list of bankruptcies including the likes of J.Crew, JCPenney, Tuesday Morning and others.

Is Retailing in trouble?

Saying that retailing won’t last for long just because retailers are leaving the market would be a misstatement. 
The concept of retailing has been here for long and will continue to stay till the point where there are humans to make purchase decisions, not robots.

Why do the Retailers suffer?

While “Retail Gravitation” and “Wheel of Retailing” theories give an explanation for the happening, most good retailers go bad when they are either unable or unwilling to adapt to the changes in their ecosystem (technology, nontraditional competition, and consumer lifestyles). 

The retail stores which have for long followed a traditional model of low-tech shops and have constrained themselves to the traditional idea of selling need to reposition themselves into the High-tech and Value added services model.

What is the Value Added Services Model ?

Professor Jagdish Sheth`s model of Value Added Services is a key to boost retail sales in the coming future.
The various examples of Value Added Services are:

  • #1 Ordering & Delivery 

Uber , Grubhub and Kroger have grown in the past because they understood that their consumer might not always walk into their stores and often prefers the comfort of sitting on his couch and consuming the products from his favourite brands. 
The ease with which you can deliver your value to your consumer would define your supremacy.

  • #2 Financing & Payment

The consumers do care and show their loyalty towards you if you understand their financial condition and go out-of-the-box to offer them credit options . One such example is that of Room To Go that offers exclusive credit options to consumers at zero-interest rate and this has helped it scale their business and create a unique brand positioning of their own.

  • #3 In-Store Environment

Focussing on the stimuli that drive your consumers into spending more time in your stores is not a big ask. 
Studies have shown that playing the right music in your stores helps increase sales.Platforms like Ambii help you in fixing the ambience of your stores by curating the best playlist for retail stores. The service offers royalty free music for your business.

  •  #4 Robot Assistant

“Automation will change the daily work habits of everyone, from miners to landscapers to commercial bankers, fashion designers, welders and CEOs” . 
This is an excerpt from a McKinsey report on Automation which goes on to predict that  51% of economic activity in USA could be automated by existing technology.

OSHBot (Orchard Supply Hardware), Lowe’s autonomous shopping assistant helps customers to navigate in the stores and choose the best products.

  • #5 Cyber Cafes in Stores

Consumers are fickle. They are known to take a quick glance and then vanish from the retail stores, lickety-split!
To increase the foot traffic, the retail owners can set up gaming corners and provide free internet services to give the consumers a positive experience.

  • #6 Automated Promotions & Discounts

It is the era of all-powerful consumers. These are the times of unprecedented competition, overcapacity, price deflation and uncertainty.
It is one thing to attract a customer and it is other to retain him for future sales. Analysis of consumer purchasing behaviour helps in identifying patterns and setting guidelines for future marketing endeavours.
Running smart loyalty programs is a proven method of boosting retail sales.

  • #7 Virtual Shopping communities

Creating online communities where your consumers get to interact with each other boosts their confidence in your brand and ultimately your bottom line.

Young people may love their digital options, but I’ve found that they also love unique experiences and human connections. They may be happy to buy from local stores, especially if they can tag themselves on social media or treat the opportunity as more than a transaction.

Bobby Marhamat, CEO at Raydiant.
  • #8 Subscription Apps

The only cheat code is to create positive experiences is having a presence online, offline and across all platforms, round the clock without neglecting the value being imparted. 
Having a mobile application helps you in regular communication with your consumers and remain in the competition with the juggernauts.

Is this it?

“It doesn’t stop here. In the future, industry change will be further accelerated with the advent of new technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and blockchain.”

Professor Jagdish Sheth

As the artificial becomes reality and the predictions of retail apocalypse rise, only those brands will survive that are able to differentiate themselves from the herd.
Those who do not transform over and over again will be dead soon.