How background music influences shopping behaviour

How background music influences shopping behaviour

The effects of music on behaviour, especially in shopping malls and shops, have been confirmed by numerous scientific studies. Mood, volume and tempo are all important factors in persuading customers to enter and stay (or leave) a shop. They affect how customers perceive the product, and can be conducive to the decision to buy and how much to spend.

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There’s an art in optimising music for particular people, places and times to achieve particular results – just ask any deejay. If you own a toy store, Coldplay probably isn’t the solution you’re looking for.

Play it loud, play it fast?

Some stores do this to accelerate customers toward the checkouts as closing time approaches. At other times, this may be the last thing you want to do: many businesses depend on shoppers browsing to increase sales.

Playing music too quietly can be a missed opportunity to express the shop’s branding, but over-loud music will impair the shopping experience for visitors who value the social interactions of shopping, whether with companions or shop staff.

If queuing at checkouts and service desks is unavoidable, playing songs that your customers like shortens the time they feel they’ve waited.

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Choose with care

Fast music can make your goods more exciting, especially to a younger clientele, but is likely to be irritating to customers unable to move quickly, for example, the elderly. Classical music creates an impression of good quality, but if your customers are cash-strapped, that could encourage them to look elsewhere.

Needless to say, if the music in your stores is out of step with your customers, all the potential advantages flip into reverse, and sales decline. Selecting in store music in tune with your business focus is a job for specialists, like They ensure the music and other subtle effects in your place of business align with your branding and customer demographics.


There is also substantial evidence that music affects the performance of your workforce. Generally speaking, it is an aid to concentration and encourages a positive and industrious outlook – unless of course, it is poorly chosen and unpopular.

Unfortunately, many modern digital radios default to stations that pump out an unrelenting and repetitive playlist selected by corporate music vendors. A simple solution is to ensure workers have access to retune it, or turn it off.

Categories: Shopping

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