Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

Overhead Music Sets the Tone [Infographic]

I was at the supermarket the other day, and I was feeling kind of uncomfortable. I couldn’t put my finger on why I had such an odd feeling, until an overhead announcement broke the silence. “That’s it!” I thought to myself, “It’s completely silent in this store.” Shopping in the ultra-quiet store was like waiting in silence on hold. What is it that makes music effective in a retail environment?

According to Francine Garlin and Katherine Owen, music can be used to trigger a wide range of emotional responses from customers. In a retail setting, music that creates the correct emotion has an effect on the consumer’s perception of the store.

Background music might not be at the forefront of shopper’s minds, but studies have shown that patronage is positively affected by music that shoppers are familiar with or like. It’s important to know your customer and structure your music and all of your marketing initiatives around their taste. The wrong retail soundscape can send customers flying out the door—up to 68% of them, according to Julian Treasure.

Garlin and Owen found that the majority of research in retail sound indicate that correct musical planning can “provide returns to business in the form of sales value and volume, repeat purchase, rate of spend, quantity purchased, and gross margin.” They also report that indirect returns on investment can also be traced, including positive perceptions of store/brand image and product quality.

Customers can't ignore silence, whether it's on hold or in a real-life facility. Strategically planned overhead music can positively impact your bottom line. What impact does background music have in a retail setting?

Overhead Music Impacts the Retail ExperienceClick here for more information about Holdcom's Business Music Services

Tags: customer experience, overhead announcements, music