If your franchises operate in retail, their bottom line can be improved by a smart choice of overhead music, says Greg Duss
Overhead music provides more than just background noise. By playing the right music at the right time, a franchise can enhance customers’ dwell time and positively alter their buying behaviors. Franchisors with a sound knowledge of how music influences a shopper’s attitude can harness its powerful effects on the human brain.
The options and customizability of background music has come a long way, yet many businesses haven’t kept pace. Personalization is a driving consumer trend that many franchisors are seeking to enhance, and it is the same approach they should be taking when it comes to the music used in their businesses. What follows is a guide for franchisors seeking to enhance sales with overhead music playing an integral role in their overall marketing strategy.
Why Music Matters
The use of music can be effective in strengthening a brand and creating a sense of identity and authenticity. When a consumer does not already have a clear preference toward a brand, musical fit can greatly influence product/service choice.
Further, the use of music alters and enhances the overall customer experience. Even an inexperienced listener is able to perceive differences between intended happiness and sadness when listening to certain sounds and musical arrangements.
Music creates an environment that is more comfortable for customers with the goal of keeping them entertained. If they enjoy the music, they will appreciate their experience, stay longer, and spend more money.
Impact of Pace and Tempo
Scientific findings agree that slower, more leisurely music causes shoppers to spend more time contemplating their purchases and enjoying the atmosphere, leading to significant increase in sales. Alternatively, fast-paced music encourages quicker shopping and fewer purchases.
The pace and tempo of a musical sequence can directly influence different kinds of consumer behavior. For example, studies have found that music tempo has a significant effect on money spent on both food and drink while dining at a restaurant. The lesson is to consider the shopping experience you want to create and align your music tempo and rhythm around that.
Know that tempo can also play a role in in-store traffic flow control. When properly combined with genre selection and volume, choosing carefully paced songs can help move customers in and out efficiently during peak traffic times, while using more leisurely sounds during slower parts of the sales day can urge customers to say in-store longer and think about their purchasing decisions.
Leverage Music to Market Local Promotions
Overhead sounds in your retail store aren’t restricted to music. To get the most of your sound system, consider incorporating strategic overhead messaging. Overhead messaging is a method for periodically speaking to customers in your retail store, but it should not be a method for an ongoing a series of promotional announcements. The best overhead messages are weaved into a stream of music where a message is delivered every two or three songs. This balance creates the best experience for customers so they are not overexposed to branded messaging.
This is a way to advertise local promotions and highlight unique offerings. Consider utilizing key messages driving traffic to a specific area of the store, creating interest in certain products or services, promoting customer reward systems, highlighting promotions, sharing event announcements, or you may even consider playing custom commercials.
By integrating targeted messages into your overhead music, you’re able to connect with an extremely engaged, in-store audience.
Entertain a Diverse Customer Base
Some franchisors might recommend sticking with any type of ambient music to appeal to all potential customers, assuming that the tempo and feeling that it creates will automatically generate positive results. Be wary of this.
Not every customer can agree on their favorite music – pay attention to your core demographic and create a tailor-made playlist with different artists, genres, and songs to customize accordingly. You can customize playlists based on demographics, time of day, holidays, etc.
Choosing music for your retail store involves sending shoppers the right message and feeling – you want them to feel positive and confident in their shopping choices, live in the moment and be excited to make a purchase. Engaging the emotional, cognitive, and arousal functions of music are some of the best ways to get shoppers to feel positive about their experience in your retail space.
The music you select can impact what items you sell, how big your tickets are, and how long your customers stay. Don’t miss the opportunity to impact buying behavior – invest in an overhead music marketing strategy because background music is more than filling an awkward silence in a retail store, it’s a tool for improving the performance of the store and the experience of everyone who steps inside.
About the Author
Greg Duss, CRO, Spectrio one of the nation’s leading end-to-end technology-enabled audio and video marketing companies, known for cultivating memorable customer experiences through professional content and managed services on an affordable monthly subscription basis. In business for more than 30 years, Spectrio brings the customer experience to life by providing custom, branded and targeted audio and video marketing solutions – including On-Hold Messaging, Digital Signage, Overhead Music and Wi-Fi Marketing – to enable clients to engage, educate, and entertain across all customer touch points.