4 Things You Should Know About In-Store Music

  • Date: October 21, 2016
  • Posted By: april
  • View: 684

Putting music on in your store is easy right? Make a playlist with all your favourite songs, plug in your iPod and hit play. While you could do this, it isn’t the best solution. Music, when used correctly, is a powerful tool that can enhance branding, create atmosphere, compliment marketing strategy, influence customer attitudes and behaviour and drive sales. A professional music service is something that every store should use. So before you make a decision about your in-store music situation, here are 4 things you should know.

1. The science behind in-store music is complex

Have you ever walked into a store and thought, “Gee, this music is too loud” or “this music is too soft” or “I love this song” or “Why is every store playing Justin Beiber right now?!” Once or twice you may have even walked out of a store because of the uncomfortable vibe you were getting in there. Music has a huge effect on the atmosphere you are creating in your store and the behaviour of your customers.

Choosing the right type of music to play is something that can be very difficult to get right and the reality of it is, not everyone enjoys the same types of music. This is where it becomes difficult to choose your own music. You don’t want to be putting people off by playing the wrong music or creating the wrong vibe because your music is too slow or too fast or too loud or too soft.

In-store music is one of those things that is best left to the experts. At SMA, our music team will work with you to define what it is you want and need from your music service. We will put together a channel that best suits your brand image. We will use a complex scheduling system (what we call the ‘science’ behind the music) to create a channel with no sharp peaks or drops in tempo, that follows your branding guidelines and ensures that you give your customers the best experience possible.


2. Different types of music will have different effects on your customers

It’s no secret that different types of music make you feel different ways. Listening to a Jack Johnson song is going to make you feel relaxed and happy. Listening to a Daft Punk song is going to make you want to party. Even if you are barely conscious of the music playing, your mood, attitude and behaviour is influenced by it.

This is so important when considering in-store music. Did you know that if you play French music in an alcohol shop, people are more likely to buy French wine? Did you know that if you play classical music, people are likely to choose more expensive wine? (North, Hargreaves and McKendrick, 1999) If you play slower music in a supermarket, customers are more likely to spend more time in the store, and buy more products. (Milliman, 1982)

Armed with a wealth of knowledge of the effects of music on human behaviour, SMA can create an in-store music channel for you that will match your target market and encourage the customer response that you are looking for. Why risk using the wrong music, when you can get an expert to ensure you get it right?


3. Music is an underrated branding tool

When you think store branding, you think about colours, staff clothing, in-store marketing and many other elements that create your brand. Do you ever think about the music you play in your store? We know that music can affect the behaviour of your customers and their mood and attitude towards certain products. Well, music also adds an invaluable element to your brand.

Your brand is the image you want to portray. It’s your business’s personality. It’s the culture that you create around your business. Since the beginning of time, music has been used as a form of expression so why not use music to express your business’s image, personality, values, culture.

SMA will find out what you want for your branding and curate a bespoke channel to suit that image. Considering elements such as era, tempo, genre and mood, our experts will put together an in-store channel to enhance your branding.


4. Your in-store music needs to be updated regularly

Once you have your awesome new bespoke channel, curated to suit exactly what you want to achieve, you want to be able to forget about it and let the channel work its magic, right? Unfortunately, in-store music channels need to be constantly updated to include new releases, accommodate a change in image for the business and to cut out some content that has become less relevant. Why not hand over this task to an expert? Someone who has years of experience in managing in-store music channels? Someone who is up to date with all the new releases and has a library of music bigger than you could ever dream of?


Giving the responsibility of managing your in-store music channel to someone else means that you have more time to do all the other things you need to do to run your business. Make music one less thing you have to think about. Set it up and trust that it is being taken care of by the content team at SMA.


Milliman, R. E. (1982) Using Background Music to Affect the Behaviour of Supermarket Shoppers The Journal of Marketing, 46(3), 86-91
North, A. C., Hargreaves, D. J. and McKendrick, J. (1999) The Effect of In-Store Music on Wine Selections Journal of Applied Psychology, 84(2), 271-276

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