Welcome!

Article

Buy a Red Door and Paint it Black: How Music Affects Consumer Purchasing In-Store

How Music Affects Purchasing In-Store

In our day-to-day activities, music can play an important role in “getting us through it.” A student uses calm, relaxing jazz as a study aide for an exam, while a delivery driver’s head bobs along to “Born to Be Wild” to pass the time on the road, and a retail store use Christmas music to lightly entertain shoppers while they get their holiday shopping done early (or last minute). Music has been proven to have attributional benefits, such as raising IQ levels, relieving anxiety, or promoting a social atmosphere. The effect music has on the mood of its listeners is impactful, whether it’s being listened to actively and consciously, or subconsciously received as background noise.

But shoppers aren’t wandering through malls for a free concert, they came to your store with a purpose in mind. Just because they’re not actively listening, doesn’t mean the subtle background music won’t affect a customer’s shopping list. In fact, there are many studies produced on the topic of music’s effect on enhancing the shopping experience. A study by Cain-Smith & Curnow found that “loud [and high tempo] music causes customers to move through a supermarket more quickly, without reducing sales value” while a study by Milliman found that “low-tempo music causes shoppers to move slowly, but they also buy more.” As you might expect, louder, more upbeat music will cause customers to move more quickly and make hastier purchase decisions. This atmosphere is often found in venues promoting a fun and upbeat atmosphere, like a bar or dance club. On the other hand, softer, low-tempo music can create a calming atmosphere that encourage customers to take their time, as you’ve likely experienced on your last grocery trip.

A separate study by North, Hargreaves, and McKendrick dives into this connection and explains that background music in stores is not only meant for mild entertainment, but to prime them in a way that encourages specific behaviors. In other words, music elicits certain emotions or desires that can put them in the best mindset to shop and optimize their experience in-store. In this particular study, French and German music were alternately played in a wine shop. Although the shoppers were not of predominantly French or German background, they were able to understand the specific culture the music was meant to portray. Results demonstrated that on days when French music was played, French wine was purchased more often than German wine, and similarly, on days when German music was played, German wine outperformed French in sales. At the end of the study, shoppers were evaluated on their experiences in the shop, and they stated that they did not notice the music being played and believed that their purchases were not influenced in any way.

Depending on the setting and atmosphere you are in, certain music is often more appropriate than others. For example, if you’re shopping in a Toys R Us, it might feel strange to be suddenly hit with the guitar riff from Stairway to Heaven, or the surprise you would feel if you’re browsing in Abercrombie & Fitch and get an earful of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Customer experience is the most important aspect of selecting the type of music to play in your store. Consider the culture of your own business and evaluate the effect specific genres would have on your customer base.

Retailers that are able to harness the power of music to accentuate their brand experience in-store will find the conversion rates on their shoppers at a whole new level. Consumer behavior can be a predictable engine, and if retailers truly understand their target customers they’ll be able to design an environment that puts customers in the optimal mindset to purchase with their brand. But don’t forget that customers are there to shop, Van Halen.


About Scanalytics

Scanalytics is among the top 10 fastest growing “Internet of Things” companies, measuring human behavior insights through intelligent floor sensors. The SoleSensor platform translates consumer foot traffic into actionable data through a dashboard interface for real-time and historical viewing of trends in physical spaces. Using the floor sensor technology, brands capture and analyze occupancy, traffic patterns and engagement times to increase conversions and improve ROI.

With over 40 million impressions to date, Scanalytics has deployed SoleSensors across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Southeast Asia. Learn more at: www.scanalyticsinc.com

More Stories By Jason Trovela

Jason Trovela is a Market Research Analyst at Scanalytics Inc., an Internet of Things company that analyzes consumer behavior insights through smart floor sensors. The analytics platform helps businesses drive more foot traffic and increase the ROI of their locations by measuring how many people enter a space, what routes and patterns they take, and how long they engage with a product or display. Jason works with the marketing and product teams at Scanalytics researching new opportunities to enhance the technology and identify new market applications.

Latest Stories
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Translating agile methodology into real-world best practices within the modern software factory has driven widespread DevOps adoption, yet much work remains to expand workflows and tooling across the enterprise. As models evolve from pockets of experimentation into wholescale organizational reinvention, practitioners find themselves challenged to incorporate the culture and architecture necessary to support DevOps at scale. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across supply chain networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost and time for product recall as well as advance trade. Are you curious about Blockchain and how it can provide you with new opportunities for innovation and growth? In her session at 20th Cloud Exp...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Everyone wants to use containers, but monitoring containers is hard. New ephemeral architecture introduces new challenges in how monitoring tools need to monitor and visualize containers, so your team can make sense of everything. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, David Gildeh, co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, will go through the challenges and show there is light at the end of the tunnel if you use the right tools and understand what you need to be monitoring to successfully use containers in your...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
In recent years, containers have taken the world by storm. Companies of all sizes and industries have realized the massive benefits of containers, such as unprecedented mobility, higher hardware utilization, and increased flexibility and agility; however, many containers today are non-persistent. Containers without persistence miss out on many benefits, and in many cases simply pass the responsibility of persistence onto other infrastructure, adding additional complexity.