When we shop or get our hair styled
A group of Australian researchers found that for a retailer selling female youth fashion, a combination of loud music and the scent of vanilla resulted in a measurable increase in customer spend and satisfaction.(13) What this research shows is that music choice needs to fit the store.
Researchers in Canada found that almost 2/3 supermarket shoppers liked to hear music while they shopped. More than 1/5 admitted the music made them shop slower and stay longer. (14)
Some 84% of hairdressers in the UK say playing music makes the salon’s atmosphere more welcoming or exciting and 60% of UK hairdressers agree that playing music increases the likelihood of customers returning.(15)
When we do our banking
A study on a UK bank showed a direct influence on the way customers perceived the atmosphere of this type of ‘commercial environment’ as either dynamic, inspirational or fun.
The researchers suggested commercial environments could alter their ‘musical atmosphere’ to deliberately attract a customer profile, one that readily ‘buys into’ your store image. With rewards for doing so including:
- increase in patronage and per capita spend,
- brand loyalty,
- responsiveness to promotions, and
- reduced sensitivity to price.
All this because of the music cues you implement.(16)
When we book a holiday
Must can also get people into ‘holiday mode’ early. Some 51% of customers in UK travel agents that play music agree that they spend more time browsing.(17)
When we dine
An inner Sydney African-themed restaurant played host to a team of researchers for several weeks, as they tested the effects of five musical styles (including no music at all) on some 300 diners. If there was an absence of music or easy listening music playing, diners were prepared to spend less – diners were Gen X and Gen Y, so easy listening was deemed a ‘music misfit.’
For these diners, classical, jazz and popular background music made them prepared to spend more on their main meal.(18) There was clearly a relationship between diners’ perceptions of the restaurant and their perception of the music. The more subjects perceived the music as being up-market, the more the restaurant was also perceived as up-market.
More than 2/3 of Canadians surveyed say the atmosphere created by music impacts their decision to return to or recommend a restaurant to others. They like to hear a number of music styles when eating in a restaurant.(19)
Some (28%) say they would have a negative reaction to being in a restaurant without music at all: feeling awkward (51%) and unlikely to return (43%).
The majority of those surveyed said that hearing music and seeing live music in a restaurant makes them more likely to enjoy their food and drink (78% and 75%) as well as stay in a restaurant longer (70% and 75%).
Some 57% of UK managers/business owners surveyed agreed that their own choice of restaurant is influenced by the music played.(20)
Live and featured music
The live music industry huge. A recent study found that it was worth $1.2 billion in revenue/commercial benefits. Millions of patrons are served by 65,000 employees, and venue-based live music attracts 49 million attendances each year across Australia.(21)
When surveyed, venues said they hosted live music to attract patrons and most had been hosting live music for over a decade because of this successful strategy. Others added that live music invigorated other parts of their business, such as food and beverage, increased profits overall and created a unique ambiance and ‘home of live music’ brand identity.(22)
Some 73 % of UK bars, pubs and clubs surveyed recently agreed that playing music increases their sales or results.(23)
“Music can also help us connect to others. Even if we don’t get a buzz from the music normally, when we listen with others, the enhanced social connectivity can be highly satisfying. A 2012 study showed that individuals who listened to music with close friends or their partners showed significantly stronger autonomic responses than those who listened alone.”(24)
A survey of 1,500 Canadian customers and 270 Canadian businesses showed younger Canadians are more likely to agree they have gone to a bar/restaurant for the music they play. Millennials (aged 18-34) are more likely to say they would have a negative reaction to being in a restaurant without music.(25)