I was shopping in a quant little store in the square of Medina and it felt oddly uncomfortable. Then it dawned on me, there was no music playing. I felt like the salesperson was listening to my every footstep and breath. Surrounded with lots of beautiful things, I was bored by it all and left without buying.
It reminded me how important it is to play music that is consistent with your retail environment to enhance the shopping experience. It should envelop the shopper and carry them away to a new and wonderful experience once they walk through your doors. They should be longing to take a little bit of this experience home with them through making a purchase.
Shopping can be an emotional or logical activity. With non-necessity items like high-end furniture or gift items, you want people feeling inspired and motivated to improve their daily life with the items in your store. This emotional feeling needs to override the logical thought of spending large amounts of money.
Songs that are not played on the radio are better - people don't have pre-existing reactions to them. Plus, in general, people are tired of the music that is played on the radio. Hearing familiar songs will mentally take them to a place in their life when that song was popular. So, it actually works against your goal of creating a unique experience for them inside your store.
Today, I landed on this wonderful blog/web site that used music to complement the blog reading and online shopping experience. She is an artist that sells her creations on the site and also blogs about her life – www.bushelandapeck.typepad.com. While reading her recent blog post – which was about a unique way she and her family shared Christmas cheer with strangers at the mall - and listening to the music that started playing once I landed on her site, I actually started crying. Talk about using music to evoke emotion and enhance the experience.
Think about what your store has been playing through its speaker system. Are you playing just the music the staff likes to hear or are you choosing songs that create an overall experience for your customer in your store?
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