How Music is Subconsciously Influencing Your Purchasing Decision?

According to research, there appears to be 3 music qualities that are influencing buyer’s behavior inside retail environment. These three qualities are:

  1. Tempo
  2. Volume and;
  3. Genre

Each representation will be explained as per Russell and Mehrabian’s PAD or Pleasure Arousal Dominance model. This is the framework we’ll be using to decipher how music is impacting consumer behavior when making purchase.

Number 1. Tempo

Back in 1982, Milliman et al. has performed a research in NY grocery store. The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of tempo among shoppers behavior. Experimental design was pretty simple but the entire results were insightful which lead to two scenarios:

  • A: More time is spent inside the store when the music is played slowly
  • B: There’s a huge increase of roughly 32% in gross product sales when music is played fast.

As mentioned, this will be explained following after PAD model.

Fast music has tendency to lead high level of arousal while slow tempo music is slowing down the pace to which shoppers are moving, leading to increased purchase.

Number 2. Volume

In Smith and Curnow in 1966, a field experiment was performed to which they test that loud music had direct correlation with the amount of time that people spend inside stores. To be more thorough with this study, loud music leads to less overall time spent when shopping than with softer and calming music. Even though there’s significant difference with this, the sales figure wasn’t large.

Yet another study performed by Yalch and Spangenberg in 1988 which revealed that age is moderating the effect of volume as well. Example, shoppers in the younger age brackets are likely to spend more in their shopping if the music is played in foreground while older folks have a tendency to do so when the music is in background.

Still at the end of the day, there is no one-size fits all strategy in utilizing music volume to manipulate shoppers.

Number 3. Genre

Probably, it’s fair to say that the kind of music is among the initial characteristics that shoppers almost immediately notice and indeed, genre has a big impact on behavior.

A study investigated the outcome of playing the top 40 pop music and classical music inside a wine store. Ultimately, the latter has brought in more sales. Interestingly enough, shoppers didn’t buy more wine bottles when the music is being played rather, they’ve opted to the upscale and expensive bottles. Other studies showed that shoppers are likely to purchase holiday-related merchandise like صور اطفال  or kids pictures on a holiday season when Christmas related music is being played.

From these studies performed, it is safe to say that the type or genre of music being played sends signal to what goods must be bought.