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5 Ways to Increase Retail Sales with Music

Posted on March 3rd, 2016

Here’s how most small businesses pick the music for their store:

  1. Turn on the radio
  2. Flip to favorite channel
  3. Move on

Have you ever taken a step back and thought, “How does music affect my sales?” Like all other aspects of your store, what you choose to play on the radio can make a big difference in not only how many items a customer might buy but also how much they will pay. Research has shown that music has a physical, emotional, mental, and behavioral effect on people — causing consumers to shop longer and buy more.

5 Ways to Increase Retail Sales with Music | bozeman web design

5 Ways to Increase Retail Sales with Music

1) Create Ambiance

Like your lighting and paint color, music should play into the overall ambiance on your business.  It should not create a distraction, but instead should be an extension of the overall design of your showroom.  Motivational psychology expect Kurt Mortensen says it best, “Customers shouldn’t really be aware of the music you’re playing.  The music shouldn’t be overpowering. Rather it should be merely an atmospheric presence.”

2) Get the Volume Right

There is no easy or right answer for choosing the perfect volume for every retail store. Understanding your preferred clientele plays an important role in your ultimate decision. If you cater to a younger crowd, playing at a moderate to high volume may increase shopping time.  Older shoppers however, tend prefer a softer level. Generally, finding harmony between soft and loud creates the best balance of shopping time and purchases.

3) Slow it Down

Choosing the right tempo, like volume, is impacted heavily by your target market.  Fast, loud music may create the ideal atmosphere for a bike shop or trendy clothing boutique but could drive business away from a gift store or restaurant catering to an older crowd.  “To some extent, slower-paced music may make people feel calmer, and they may spend more time in your store,” says Lars Perner, assistant professor of clinical marketing at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.  A 1999 study by Clare Caldwell and Sally Hibbert concluded “that when slow music is playing, customers spend a significantly greater amount of time dining than when fast music is playing.” As well as that “music tempo was found to have a significant effect on money spent on both food and drink at the restaurant.”

4) Watch the Message

Do cater to millennials? Baby boomers? Children? Make sure what is played over your speakers isn’t going to offend your key clientele. It’s easy to think of the lyrics of the songs themselves, but what about the DJs and the ads. Often using a premium music service through a company like Pandora or Spotify is a better choice to avoid questionable content over local radio.

5) Keep it Classy

Classical melodies have shown to increase the price per bottle that consumers will pay for wine or spirits. You may not see the same results in your store or with your target market as classical can make people think that your expensive.  Focus instead on positive, upbeat tunes such as jazz or electronica.

Follow these 5 elements to see your business boom. Trial and error is key to establishing what your clients want to hear. Remain flexible to update or change the music or volume as needed.

Well, did I miss anything?  What do you play in your store?

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