Music is nowadays, without a doubt, a fundamental tool in the definition of the brand image, as important as the design of the clothes that consumers finally buy, the style of decoration, the colors, or the aroma of the store. The so-called “piped music” has gone from being a luxury item in homes, forty years ago, to an essential element in generating experiences in the main fashion stores. The digital transformation of the fashion industry in the retail sector evolves towards the creation of a unique and personalized user experience that in many cases begins with a radical change in the business model and in others by digitizing the physical space and set each of the spaces open to the public so that they are aware of the transformation.
There are different techniques that retailers implement in their stores to encourage consumers to buy, such as the smell, color, or placement of products. Another decisive factor is music. Numerous studies have shown that the background music in stores is not there for its own sake, but that they have a fundamental role in influencing when buying.
The piped music, therefore, is not only an acoustic filler for the vacuum and is not intended to make the room more bearable, but it also has a component that affects the behavior of the buyers and, consequently, the sales of the store in question. Furthermore, different studies have shown that the rhythm, tone, and style of music used to lead to different consumption behaviors.
In this sense, the expert Adrian North, from the University of Leicester, declares that the fast-paced musical pieces lead customers to walk or go faster around the establishment, while the slower pieces encourage them to stop and pay attention to products, so your stay in stores will also be longer. In other words, the rhythm of the music sets the tone for the consumer.
In the same vein, many researchers wonder why some stores look more like nightclubs than clothing stores, with dim lighting, spotlights shining at strategic locations, and loud music. The answer seems to be that when the volume of music is high, customers tend to shop compulsively, without paying too much attention to the quality of the product.
For all the above, the effects of music on the consumer are indisputable, and now all the questions are focused on discovering the effects that must be promoted to achieve better sales. Psychologist David Hargreaves asks retailers a question: “Is it preferable to use music to make the store more pleasant or to make people feel that time passes quickly?”
In any case, it seems that the saturation of ambient music is causing us to become increasingly insensitive to it. As a result, some major retailers have taken a step forward, and the strategy now is to make customers consciously listen to music so that they can associate certain songs with particular stores.