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Did you know that one of the secret weapons retail stores use to make you fork out money and shop more is actually music? Background music has the power to make customers browse for longer, spend more money, and even make impulse purchases. So, using this tactic, store owners can influence customers’ buying habits.
According to research in an article quoted by VMSD, one study shows that playing music that is appreciated influences 35% of people to stay longer, 31% of people to re-visit the store, 21% of people to recommend the place to a friend and 14% of people to simply make more purchases.
Interestingly, it also found that classical music tends to make people buy big ticket items, as the music has an air of refinement and class. It is a case of purchase by association, as we subconsciously associate this type of music with the finer things in life.
Capitalizing on the benefits of music to increase shopping spending, savvy shops like Harvey Nichols have invested in Music Concierge, a music consultancy to curate specific, made-to-order playlists to encourage shoppers.
This method has in fact been proven so effective that shoppers frequently use the music app Shazam to figure out what’s playing.
Swedish researcher Pernille Andersson finds that listening to different types of music influences shopping in different ways. Other factors include the aroma of the store and its overall appearance.
In fact, most retail outlets tend to play a type of background ambient music called Muzak which is said to be able to lull customers into making unnecessary purchases.
Andersson notes that other styles of music can also encourage a consumer to loosen their purse strings.
Fast fashion stores like H&M on the other hand tend to play contemporary music to attract a younger, more happening demographic. The drawback of fast music however is that it tends to make a person move quickly through the store and therefore browse less, making chances of purchase lower.
Similarly, fast food restaurants like to use music with a fast tempo which makes customers eat faster, whereas fine dining outlets may want to play slower music to encourage diners to stay and order more wine or dessert.
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