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The dos and don’ts of playing music in retail stores


Contrary to the hype, people like shopping in bricks and mortar stores. Real-world shopping is a social experience, rich with sights, sounds, textures, smells and human interactions that online stores will never match. There has always been a place for distance selling, but equally there will always be shops.

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Getting on board with e-commerce, smartphones, augmented reality and robot checkouts is necessary for some businesses, but others do well to remember their key advantages reside in what they do best – providing a sensory and social customer experience.

It is e-commerce that is struggling to catch up, trying to build ‘virtual’ stores, voice technology that ‘talks’ to customers, and internet trackers that try too hard to guess what customers want, destroying the joy of serendipitous discovery.

Building on strengths

Mood enhancement companies such as https://moodmedia.co.uk/in-store-music-for-business/ can raise the quality of the shopping experience by creating visual, olfactory, tactile and cultural qualities to accentuate the branding of your business; however, there is no better proven strategy than background music.

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In store music can evoke a positive emotional atmosphere for shoppers and employees. It is also an excellent way to accentuate branding, but there are numerous dos and don’ts.

Don’t

– Overdo your branding at the expense of broad appeal. Pushing a narrow style of music creates a narrow fashion-dependent business.

– Choose the wrong music. The charts played by radio stations reflect the music companies want to sell, not what your customers may want to hear. Market research would be wise.

– Settle for cheap royalty-free garbage that annoys almost everyone and conveys a cheap atmosphere.

– Forget to monitor how the music affects your clientele and sales conversions.

Do

– Stay legal. Licences are required to play copyrighted material and have been strictly pursued in recent years. Whether obstructing music being heard is in the interests of creative artists is debateable, but big companies own most copyrights. This area is legally complex, so discuss your in-store music with a specialist.

– Adjust the music to your shoppers’ mood. People are not in the same mood at 10am on Monday as they were at 4pm on Saturday.

– Balance the volume: loud enough to be enjoyed but not so loud it destroys the atmosphere.

– Make décor, signage, livery and music work together to convey a consistent idea.

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