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From data-informed customer service to interactive apps, there have never been more ways to understand and engage with customers. But amidst all these high-tech trends, retailers might be overlooking one of the simplest and most affordable ways to create a personalized in-store experience: music.
To create the right atmosphere, it’s important to consider customers’ age, what they’re shopping for, and how much time they to have to spend. With the right set of songs we guarantee you’ll be hearing more ka-chings too!
Sounds Like My Generation
Choosing an authentic playlist, however, means more than just Top 40 for teens, and oldies for the over-50 set. Music should make customers feel like they are a part of a community of shoppers who share similar taste—whether that’s an appreciation of Italian leather or a love of classic rock. Millennial-favorite American Apparel even has its own radio station, Viva Radio, adding hipster credibility to the shopping experience with a steady stream of funky, up-and-coming tracks. Similarly, retailers catering to an older audience can assemble a soundtrack of their favorite bygone hits—without simply turning the dial to the generic oldies radio station.
A Low-Tech Virtual Reality?
Knowing who your shoppers are also means understanding what they’re shopping for. Are they stocking up on gear for a summer camping trip? Picking out dishware for a bridal shower? Shopping for health food to transform their lifestyle? Each occasion can be heightened with the right sound. Sports retailers might consider playing ball-game classics to get shoppers in game-mode, while upscale retailers might follow the example of luxury resorts and hire in-store pianist during popular visitor hours.
Find the Right Tempo
It’s no secret that fast-fashion chains like to create a club-like atmosphere; the heart-racing music gets customers to the checkout before they’ve had a chance to think twice. The inverse logic is true for sit-down restaurants—slower music is proven to make customers spend more money on alcohol and more time finishing their meals. But there are no hard and fast rules. For instance, mom and pop retailers might use smooth jazz or soulful folk music to create a relaxed oasis in the middle of a busy downtown district. While dance floor tempos can create faster sales (and consumer regret), soothing melodies can get customers to linger—and return.