How to Enhance Customer Experience—With Music!

How to Enhance Customer Experience—With Music!

If you are promoting a brick-and-mortar business online, and you would like to enhance your customers' experience when they finally arrive at your physical store, then music is an overlooked ally you can use to your benefit, and the pleasure of your customers.

Music can enhance customer experience even in the non-traditional retail environment. Many business organizations actually consider music an important part of their business design as much as store layout, lighting, and other key design elements for the shop.

When people are exposed to the right kind of music, they tend to be in a good mood and increase their purchase frequently in a store for a much longer time.

Playing music at a street-side business will make your shop more appealing. Even if they do not buy anything, it will leave a positive impression in customers’ minds.


Research on Background Music in Retail Stores


Some research studies have shown that music is an important factor to enhance the customer experience, showcase the brand’s personality, and increase sales.

However, it all depends on the choice of music you play in the store. Other research suggests that some qualities of music like tempo, pitch, volume, and genre can influence shopping and buying behavior in a retail environment.

If you want to improve customer experience with music, you must first understand the type of shop you run, and how you want customers to feel while they are shopping there.

By understanding these things, you can optimize for customer experience with the right artwork for the background music you’ll play, employee attire, and more to achieve the ambience and customer shopping experience you’re aiming for.

So, how exactly can you choose the appropriate music for your store and create the character and atmosphere your customers will love in your store?


Top Tips to Choose Music for Enhanced Customer Experience


Here some effective tips to increase customer experience with music and encourage repeat customers in your business.


1. Evaluate Your Music Lyrics


Carefully evaluate the predominant themes and overarching lyrics of the type of music you’ll play in the store. Match the personality of your business with the music you play to boost your brand image and provide a unique identity to your store.

Music has an ability to decorate a space through the story of sound. Therefore, evaluating your music choice is important. It can have a huge impact on customer experience.

For example, you can select music according to its use of brand synonyms. If your brand is associated with rest and relaxation, then lean more towards soothing and relaxing music instead of more upbeat music.

The right choice of music will enhance brand perception and reinforces previous notions and expectations about your business. Use it to motivate customers towards your brand,


2. Select Playlists That Resonate with Your Target Audience


While you can’t know for sure which music will resonate with an individual customer, you can predict fairly accurately the type of music your target audience is likely to enjoy. So, after determining the appropriateness of music lyrics, take some time to dig a little deeper on your target audience’s persona. Evaluate reaction to the background music you’ve chosen.

Stick with playlists and sounds for your overhead music that match the preferences and interests of your ideal shopper based on their reactions to hearing the songs. Only play music that fits the tastes of the customers to enhance their experience.  

When making a selection of background music, do not forget about your employees and staff. Employees hear the music too, so balance things out and also factor their preferred music selection and choice, too.

An annoying, unpleasant or redundant playlist can affect employee's morale, productivity, and how they engage with customers. Make sure you get your collection of songs right for everyone.  


3. Consider the Tempo & Key of Songs


The tempo and key of the song refers to a song’s metronomic setting and tonic chord respectively. A fast tempo leads to a high level of arousal, which can lead to customers moving through the store at a faster pace, according to the PDA model. On the other hand, slow music causes customers to relax and spend more time in the store.  

Consider the pace you want customers to have and follow at different sections and stages of shopping and buying from your store. Then, choose songs with the right keys and tempo to promote your desired behavior.

Customers can repond positively and remain engaged throughout the shopping. For example, playing too many mid-tempo playlists in a row, including electronic, chill, and indie music could make customers grow anxious or restless. So mix up the tempo of songs often.  


4. Align Genre of Music with What You Sell


The genre of music is the first things shoppers will notice when entering a retail space. The genre chosen needs to resonate with the lifestyle image your brand wants to portray in the minds of shoppers. In addition, it needs to be uplifting so that it can inspire patrons to make a purchase.

Some studies have established people tend to purchase items according to the genre of music being played in the shops. For example, during the holiday season, when Christmas music is playing in a store, shoppers buy more holiday-related goods. And a retail store selling maternity clothes should obviously play soothing music, like sounds of nature or kids’ music.

A retailer selling gear and accessories for a niche market like the one for skateboarders or other extreme sports should probably play a louder genre of music, like punk rock or hip-hop. All this while, ensure that the genre of music matches your brand identity and offerings appropriately.


5. Evoke the Right Emotions Through Pitch of Music


Trigger desired behavioral responses by playing music at different pitches and volumes throughout the day, as part of your in-store marketing. Keep in mind very high volume and pitch of music can be too loud and annoying, making customers leave the shop as soon as possible.

On the other hand, moderately high volume and pitch levels can create a cozy feeling that causes people to stay longer in your store, boosting sales for your business.

So, while selecting and playing music in your physical store, consider the genre, tempo, volume and pitch of music to create emotional connections that triggers desired behavior and also enhances the overall shopping experience for your customers.

Remember, customer experience and service are key factors for business success.

Ronnie Neo  works as a manager at Ensemble Music - a wholesale retailer of musical instruments and accessories. He also provides music lessons to kids, such as violin lesson, piano lesson, guzheng lesson, and cello lesson in Singapore. Ronnie loves to play musical instruments and also has a long-standing passion for writing.