Music to their ears? It might drive customers out

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73% will notice your shop music, 40% will leave if they dislike it.

A study by Immedia Plc, developers of music strategies for retailers, has found that 40% of shoppers will leave a store if they feel the music playing inside does not fit with the retail atmosphere.

The study will no doubt prompt retailers to think about the mood their music sets in store, with the revelation that three-quarters of shoppers – 73% – will notice the style and volume of music playing upon entering a shop.

More than 1,000 shoppers were quizzed by Immedia, who asked for their opinion of retailers’ music choices with a focus on how music affects them psychologically and emotionally when shopping.

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The study found that, beyond three-quarters paying attention to the music playing, 40% will stay longer in a shop if they feel the music is well chosen for the environment while 40% are likely to leave if they feel the music isn’t suitable

Immedia revealed that 49% of the 1,000 shoppers questioned have stayed longer in a shop because they like the music, however more than a quarter said they would be unlikely to return to a retailer where they don’t like the music that is playing or if they find it ‘annoying’.

Immedia’s chief executive Bruno Brookes said of the findings: “Brands currently spend upwards of £25 billion a year on visual point of sale material. However, while the retail, hospitality and fast moving consumer goods industries take great care in thinking about what customers see, nowhere near the same investment goes into optimising what they hear.

"In fact, audio is the single most effective way to capture the attention and imagination of people who are on the move inside your shop. Especially given the challenging economic environment, it is important to optimise every element of a customer’s sensory experience.”

The company says that is currently working with a number of high street retailers who want ‘the competitive edge that a well thought out music and sound strategy will give them’.

Music is said to affect mood, emotion and energy levels of consumers, who will be influenced, however subtly, to shop or to leave.

“In specific terms, in-store music should be chosen with care and attention to the brand or product identity. Studies have shown that a poor degree of fit between brand and music can result in negative customer feedback, lower sales, and fewer customer referrals,” said Dr Vicky Williamson, an advisor to Immedia.

How music is chosen for a jewellery retail store must certainly be a conscious process, as it will project an image of the style of shopper the retailer associates itself with. Whether it is something classical and inoffensive, upbeat and on-trend or easy listening we’d love to hear your feedback on what you select for your shop and why.

 

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