Music the key to shoppers’ hearts

Music enhances the shopper’s in-store experience. Image: Soundreef

Music is the key to a positive shopping experience in brick and mortar stores, according to a recent global report into customer behavior.

Taking in online survey responses from 11,255 consumers in nine countries, The State of Brick and Mortar 2017 report showed that 78 per cent of shoppers around the world liked to hear music while shopping in-store.

That figure escalates to 86 per cent when the demographic is limited to 18-24 year olds, with 87 per cent saying that their mood was lifted when a shop played music. 75 per cent said that if a shop was playing music, then “I feel like it’s a brand I can relate and connect to”.

Significantly, 50 per cent overall, and 70 per cent of Chinese and Russians said that hearing music in-store made them feel “more at ease”, while consumers used the words “disappointed”, “disengaged” and “unwelcome” to describe their feelings when no music was played in-store.

When it came to influencing the music, 41 per cent said they would like to have some input, but again the Russians demonstrated the least interest at 31 per cent, while 18-24 year olds were the most enthused with 51 per cent wanting to help choose the playlist.

Moodmedia Australia director Steve Hughes said that Bricks and Mortar wasn’t just about buying a product in-store, but also the overall experience.

“Consumers – particularly younger consumers – aren’t just buying a product when in-store; they’re buying an experience and their expectations for a positive, emotionally engaging experience are quite high,” he said.

“Shopping as a form of entertainment remains important to consumers. The tangible, tactile nature of bricks and mortar is still viewed as a very real advantage, as is the desire for instant gratification.

“Those businesses who deliver an elevated customer experience witness greater repeat visits, a greater number of recommendations and longer in-store dwell times.”

The study even explored attitudes to combining music and scent to create a branded atmosphere, to which 61 per cent said they would be more likely to revisit the store.

“With modern technology taking over our everyday lives, consumers are craving sensorial experiences and still highly value the stimulation provided by seeing, hearing, touching or smelling, in stores,” Hughes said.

Leaving music behind, 62 per cent of Australian consumers said that discounts and promotions would drive them to make impulse purchases.

Unsurprisingly, 18-24 year olds were the very attached to their mobile phones through the shopping experience, with 82 per cent using them while shopping, compared to 55 per cent study-wide. However the heaviest users of mobile phones while shopping were the Chinese, with 92 per cent.

72 per cent of young shoppers said they would like to receive immediately redeemable discounts, pushed to their phones, while shopping in-store, demonstrating the significant power of mobile apps just waiting to be exploited by the convenience industry.

The report made some other interesting cross-cultural comparisons; for example, 71 per cent of French respondents cited the ability to touch, try and feel products as a top reason for shopping in-store, however this was significantly more important in Russia where 87 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement.

Along the gender divide, this aspect of shopping was more important to women, with 81 per cent wanting the ability to touch and feel products, while 74 per cent of men agreed.

Instant gratification, the ability to purchase and enjoy the product on the spot, has always been identified as one of the key advantages of Bricks and Mortar over online shopping. 67 per cent of respondents agreed, however the divide between Russians (67 per cent) and French (56 per cent) again showed that the greater importance of Bricks and Mortar in the East than in the West.

Respondents surveyed were from Australia, UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, US, Russia and China, with the study conducted by YouGov on behalf of Moodmedia.

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