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How to choose ambient music for your store

How to choose ambient music for your store

Your selection of products and dynamic store displays determine how successful you are as a business, but what else plays into the customers’ perception?

If you want people to browse your merchandise, it’s vital that you supply an enjoyable environment for perusing. This requires you to engage all five of their senses – here’s how to master the audio portion.

Why does background music matter?
The purpose of music in a retail setting is to evoke an emotional response. Tempo, instruments and more elicit different psychological reactions, often without the listener realizing. Retail Customer Experience explained how fast music may encourage impulse buys while gentle and soothing tunes are ideal for businesses that want shoppers to do more than glance at a few products.

Is your brand loud and vibrant? Match the store’s music to that vibe.

According to RetailWire, nearly 75 percent of consumers who took a customer experience survey claimed they notice what music is playing in stores they visit. About 40 percent of them said they’ll spend more time at a business if the music is enjoyable, while 25 percent are less likely to become a repeat shopper if they don’t like the soundtrack.

What type of music works for your business?
The first step to choosing your store’s music is considering the overall brand and image. Start by brainstorming a few words that describe your business and the atmosphere you’re going for. Are there any genres of music or bands that radiate those same descriptions? If you own a quirky boutique, try to find music that’s equally unique. At the same time, a store that’s directed at teens and young adults could incorporate top-40 music into its daily playlist.

You could also gather ideas for background music from your employees. They’ll be listening to these tunes for eight hours at a time, so their opinions should have some role in the decision. Additionally, you can visit stores that are similar to yours – either in branding or merchandise – to find out what they serenade customers with. Next, think about your customer base. How old is your average patron and what are his or her interests? You could even reach out to shoppers on social media sites to learn what songs they’d like to hear. For example, post something on Twitter or Facebook along the lines of, “We’re looking to compile a new in-store soundtrack. Do you guys have any suggestions? What are you listening to these days?” Not only will you have a selection of songs to choose from, but it’s always positive to engage with your followers on social media platforms to build your brand.

“Reach out to shoppers on your social media sites to learn what songs they’d like to hear.”

Additional tips
The Retail Council warned that some record labels or artists may consider your using their music as a form of marketing. Take steps to ensure you aren’t violating copyright laws before you change up your music selection. Additionally, it’s not ideal to use regular radio stations as background music because of the commercials and DJ chatter between songs. You also can’t control what’s being played, nor can you skip songs that won’t appeal to shoppers.

Playing music too loudly is sure to turn off some of your potential customers, or at least discourage them from spending a long time browsing your products. Make sure the background tunes aren’t overwhelming and that you aren’t broadcasting them at a volume that surpasses the abilities of your sound system.