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How to Choose the Best Music for Your Location
May. 29, 2024
How to Choose the Best Music for Your Location

How to Choose the Best Music for Your Location

Overhead music can be a game-changer for brick and mortar businesses. In the best case, your in-store music will enhance the shopping experience. Customers will hear your store’s playlist, have their mood boosted, and want to stay longer and purchase more items.

However, poor music selection can have the opposite effect. Shoppers will roll their eyes or worse, associate shopping at your store with an annoying and unpleasant experience and head for the exit.

Whether we like it or not, themusic playing in stores has a huge impact on things like customer engagement, dwell time, and overall sales. That’s becausemusic and emotions are deeply tied together. So choosing the right in-store music is paramount.

How Do Top Brands Decide Which Music to Play?

Big-name stores like Walmart, Chipotle, and Starbucks aren't just throwing on any old playlist. Their background music is thoughtfully and carefully curated toenhance the shopping or dining experience.

But they all have their own strategy that fits their brand. For example, stores like Walmart and Target have their own radio stations that they play in-store. These are curated by DJs who know their brands and audiences to a T.

Brands like Chipotle or H&M might opt for indie or alternative tunes to appeal to a younger, more adventurous clientele. Walmart, on the other hand, might play a safer selection of pop and classic rock that caters to a broader demographic.

Alternatively, some leading stores work with music companies that specialize in retail playlist curation. Other stores simply opt to play a Spotify or Pandora playlist to boost customer engagement.

With that said, here’s how to select the best music for your specific store.

Stay True to Brand Identity

As is the case with everything else your store does, sticking to your established brand identity is a must.

In-store music—when done right—can be a powerful tool for conveying your brand's personality, style, and values. For example, an upscale barber shop might opt for classical or jazz music to create a sophisticated and debonair ambiance. A surf shop, on the other hand, might play laid-back, reggae songs to give off beach vibes.

Knowing what in-store music is right for your brand comes down to your audience’s expectations and tastes.

Create a Great In-Store Experience for Shoppers

Music sets the tone for the shopping experience, influencing everything from mood to behavior.

In fact, music can go a long way in influencing customer engagement and how long shoppers spend in your store. That’s why stores carefully select music to create a specific atmosphere that supplements the shopping experience, whether it's a relaxed vibe for browsing or an energetic vibe for boosting sales.

It goes without saying that customers who vibe with a store’s soundtrack will be more likely to stay longer—andpotentially spend more money. On the other hand, if your music is lifeless or annoying, they’ll head for the door sooner.

Avoid Turning Your Shoppers Off with Music Selections

While music can enhance the shopping experience, it can also turn shoppers off big time.

The most common pitfall is playing music that is either repetitive, boring, or generic. The last thing you want is for your customers to feel like they are listening to elevator music or on hold with a call center. If that’s the case, they could be gone in a hurry.

Another big mistake is playing music with problematic lyrics that could offend shoppers. Not only will some customers exit your store as fast as they entered, but it will also sully your brand’s image.

Play In-store Music that Improves the Shopping Experience

At the end of the day, coming up with a fine-tuned music playlist for your store comes down to your brand and audience. Give your audience what they want and expect, but don’t go so bold that you might alienate some.

By creating a welcoming atmosphere with vibes your audience likes, your customers could stay longer and be more likely to come back.