6 Ways Sound Can Influence Customer Behavior

The background music in your store affects your customers’ mood and buying behaviors. In order to choose the right music, you should select on-brand music that appeals to the demographics of your customers. Playing the right music can improve the mood of your customers and have positive effects on your sales.

Learn about how sound affects your customers.

01 Tempo determines how long your customers stay

While using fast-paced music might seem appealing, it can cause customers to spend less time in your store. Faster tempos cause people to move quicker and spend less time browsing. However, some stores have success using fast-paced songs. Trendy businesses with a youthful demographic often use songs with fast tempos in order to appeal to their customers. Arcades and bowling alleys are activity-based businesses that elevate their space through fast-paced music. Grocery stores and retail outlets, on the other hand, often use slower tempos in order to encourage browsing. If you want your customers to carefully browse your products, songs that have a slower tempo are the way to go. The tempo of your store’s music should be based off of what atmosphere you want to promote in your business.

Piggly Wiggly- River Run, AL

02 Volume level can affect the stress level of customers

It may be beneficial to research the demographics of your store before coming up with a volume level. If your customers vary in age, it may be wise to stick with a low to medium-low volume level. If your customers are younger in age, they may enjoy louder volumes. However, you shouldn’t determine your music volume’s level solely on your demographics. Pay close attention to how your customers react to your music. If customers start complaining about not being able to hear due to loud music, consider turning it down. Your volume should always be at a level that causes the least amount of stress in your customers.

03 On-brand music can increase brand awareness

Imagine how off-brand it would be to walk into Walmart and hear Beethoven in the background. In order to stay on-brand, you should create a cohesive message across your entire store. Your choice of music should always reflect your store’s brand. If you play music that contrasts with your brand, you can end up confusing your customers’ perception of your brand. High-end stores often use classical and/or slow-paced music to give their stores a luxurious feeling. Customers are more likely to be willing to buy expensive items when they are in settings that feel intimate and luxurious. On the other hand, stores that promote affordability in their brand often use more popular music. Playing music that is on-brand can promote brand loyalty, elevate your brand, and increase sales.

SHE- Salon & Formal Dress Boutique- Cedar City, UT

04 Music triggers certain memories 

Certain songs trigger memories and cause feelings of nostalgia. This is why stores thrive during the holiday season when they play Christmas music. Some stores prefer to play well-known music so that they can create a sense of relatability with their customers. Other stores prefer to play instrumental music so that their customers will focus solely on the products. While triggering customers’ memories may not be a part of your store’s sound strategy, it is something that you should be aware of. Whether or not you play music that triggers your customers’ memories should be dependent on your brand and your business strategy.

05 Music affects the mood of your customers

While shopping, your customers may be worried about spending too much time in your store, dealing with crowded aisles, or not being able to locate a certain product. Hearing music when they walk in often eliminates their worries. Upbeat music can enhance your customers’ experience and increase customer loyalty. Relaxing music is also beneficial to certain businesses if you want to your customers to have a calming experience. The music you use in your store should be based on what feelings you want to evoke in your customers.

SHE- Salon & Formal Dress Boutique- Cedar City, UT

06 Music helps create a holistic customer experience

It is always a good idea to connect the music of your store with other sensory details. For instance, spas often combine relaxing music with warm lighting and lavender scents to create a calming environment. Engaging all or most of your customers’ senses will create strong memory associations. Combining music with other sensory components will help your customer remember your store. If you want to keep your brand at the forefront of your customers’ memory, use multiple sensory details to create a holistic experience.

Your store’s choice in background music has the ability to determine the mood, loyalty, and buying behaviors of your customers. Playing your store’s music at a level and tempo that strategically aligns with your store’s brand can increase sales and create a memorable experience for your customers. 

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