Research suggests that the influence of music on consumers is profound. Music can alter a consumer’s mood, which in turn, alters their purchasing habits. This can be explained by the pleasure, arousal, and dominance (PAD) model. The PAD states that the physical environments influence people through their emotional impact.
How music influences consumers can be broken down into 3 parts.
Different types of genres can affect consumers in different ways. For example, a study done by psychological scientists Adrian North and Lorraine Sheridan of Curtin University concluded that people who were exposed to classical music during their shopping experience were prepared to pay more for the same products than other music or no music. Due to the “upmarket” connotations of classical music people are more likely to associate it with a sophisticated lifestyle, leading them to opt for the more expensive brand.
Other research has shown when consumers listen to Top 40’s and other songs that they are accustomed to, that they spend less time shopping compared to hearing easy-listening music.
The tempo, or pace, of the music that is played in an establishment, changes the speed at which a consumer moves. Ronald E. Milliman conducted a supermarket experiment where he played different music with varied tempos while tracking the speed at which the customers shopped. He found that when shoppers heard face-paced music, they tended to walk faster and not purchase as much. When the tempo was slow, shoppers took their time and browsed the aisles, leading to higher sales.
Slow tempo music is good for supermarkets and retail, but for fast food establishments, it is better to choose a quicker tempo. The quicker music contributes to faster customers turnover, which leads to higher sales.
The volume of music can directly affect the amount of time a customer will spend in a store. If the customer considers the music too loud, they will spend less time there. Interestingly, it does not influence how much the consumer spends despite the shorter time spent in the store.
Age also plays a big part in choosing the volume of the music being played. Younger shoppers are apt to spend more time browsing when the music is played at a higher volume.
When opting for the type of music that will be used at an establishment, it is best to know the demographics of the consumers that will be using it.
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