Stores that get their music wrong may send up to ¾ of their customers walking out of the store (Entertainment Media Research 2009). A duff playlist gets in the way of shopper’s thinking and buying. Even when the music choice seems obvious you can still make mistakes. In fact, Christmas music isn’t even the best thing to play in December!
According to Nancy Pucinelli, Professor of Neuro Science at Oxford University, too much Christmas Music and decorations can drive customers out of shops. Customers leave feeling frustrated and stressed as the music and decorations remind them about money needed for gifts.
Each shopping experience is different depending on the shops you enter and the items you’re purchasing. Studies show that shopping is therefore not a mindless activity, rather one where we engage the brain at different levels depending on what we’re buying. Buying toothpaste for example may require low-level decision-making. But a potential purchase like choosing and buying the right gifts requires a higher level of decision-making.
So how can you make sure you’re playing the right music to the right customers to keep them in the store longer? Well, here are a few tips to get you started:
1) Simple things like tempo affect the way we process what we hear and how we move around the store.
2) Too much familiarity causes people to focus on the track and forget the task in hand.
3) Context is important. It’s no good if the music is too distracting in the type of shop that requires us to focus
4) Music by the tills once the purchase has been chosen can help the waiting time seem quicker (or at least more bearable).
Shopping is an activity to take seriously and understanding the mindset of the potential customer is key if retailers are to optimise opportunities.
So with Santa’s sleigh safely parked, and the January Sales all but over, now is the perfect time to work out your music strategy for the rest of the year.