Annoying music puts off shoppers

Half of Britain’s shoppers have left a store because they were annoyed by the music, according to a study carried out by Immedia Plc, which develops music strategies for retailers.

The company claimed that the findings illustrate the danger High Street brands face by not developing a suitable ‘sound’ for their brand.

In the study, a thousand plus shoppers were asked both about their attitude to in-store music and about how music affects them psychologically, and emotionally.

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Three-quarters of shoppers (73 percent) will notice the music playing in-store and, out of those that do, 40 percent will stay longer in a shop if they feel the music is well chosen for the environment.

Conversely, 40 percent will spend less time there if they feel the music isn’t suitable.

Half of all shoppers claimed they left a shop because they didn’t like what was playing or because it was annoying, while a quarter of shoppers (23 percent) said they would be less likely to return to a retailer if they don’t like the music it plays.

Commenting on the results, Immedia Plc CEO Bruno Brookes said:"Brands currently spend upwards of £25 billion a year on visual point of sale material… However, while the retail, hospitality and FMCG industries take great care in thinking about what customers see, nowhere near the same investment goes into optimising what they hear.

"In fact, audio is the single most effective way to capture the attention and imagination of people who are on the move inside your shop or restaurant. This is supported by numerous scientific studies that demonstrate how an effective music strategy does everything from improve staff morale to enhance the customer experience, to crucially increase sales.”

Immedia scientific advisor Dr. Vicky Williamson added: “In specific terms, in-store music should be chosen with care and attention to the brand or product identity. Studies have shown that a poor degree of fit between brand and music can result in negative customer feedback, lower sales, and fewer customer referrals.”

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