Mozart or U2? We don’t just play any old tune in-store. Finding the right musical atmosphere for each store is an exact science that gives results.
If smells are essential to creating the perfect mood in-store, so is the musical atmosphere. It’s hard to imagine a large store or clothing boutique without background music. However, selecting the right sound isn’t that easy. Everything for the seller lies within this equation: finding music that customers like, that makes them want to stay, that corresponds with the brand’s image and that doesn’t stray too far from the store mood and the products on offer. Nicolas Duperron, who delivers music solutions for brands , insists that “this is an equation with multiple unknown factors that we are trying to solve”. His firm specialises in creating musical atmospheres. According to Nicolas, music should be based on the brand’s environment, “don’t ask the consumer”.
Does playing the right music have a positive impact though? Nicolas Duperron reckons that at first, it’s hard to say: “Customers will never say if they like the music”. Although consumers don’t really express their tastes in-store, the staff do quite the opposite however. Employees are exposed to the store’s musical atmosphere all day and share their opinions more openly. This is a key indicator as to how effective the music choices are: “As a result, we’ve had to help stores where employees didn’t like the music, this was the triggering factor” adds Nicolas Duperron.
Music is encouraging and influences purchasing
Another indicator is the time spent on the shop floor. Pierre Vialle, Sales Director of Mood Media France (agency specialised in creating moods in stores) reveals that consumers stay on average 20 minutes longer in a store playing music. The results of a survey carried out by SACEM, a French musical author, composer and editor society, the figure demonstrates the impact music has on retail. But in order to do so, stores must adapt their playlists to certain times according to Nicolas Sorrel from Music Work: “When there are few customers, music should be calm to help encourage retailers and customers to talk, to help selling in a calm way. However, during the sales for example, there should be more lively music. We have noticed that this speeds up the decision to purchase and that the consumer makes it more independently”.
Musical crowdsourcing in-store, a new marketing trend
So music really does influence buying in-store. Some brands even use it as a marketing tool. This is the case with Starbucks. Associated with the music streaming platform Spotify, the franchise has recently invited its customers to choose the songs that play in their coffee shops. In other words – musical crowdsourcing. A solution that Mood Media has been developing for several years: Pierre Vialle explains that “it’s a really interesting marketing tool. This allows a brand to get to know its customers’ preferences to then modify its choices.” But the specialist also explains that: “Customers shouldn’t be allowed to select music for an entire store however. This may disrupt the overall atmosphere and change the image of the brand. It’s better to set out a specific, well-marketed zone – a relaxation area for example – where consumers choose the music.”