Does in-store music played influence your shopping?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by spellcaster, May 3, 2020.

  1. Wayfinder

    Wayfinder Strat-Talker

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    Okay, this post is probably a bit longer than I intended... but music in our lives is important to us all, yup? Interestingly, it is especially important in a business environment.

    Many years ago I worked in the IT department of a marketing firm. Picked up a few things from daily conversations. There was a study (or twelve) done on the effect of music on shoppers. The question comes down to targeted audience in specific instances. For example in a regular (non-instrument) music store that caters to the young, playing popular tunes increased sales. However, such music would drive customers away from other stores, because what's popular with the young is not necessarily popular with older ones. But even in music stores, louder volumes or heavy metal would drive customers out of the store. Such music didn't even encourage sales among "metal heads", as the music itself seemed to override and cloud the judgement. Many advertisers forget the strong emotional / hormonal / chemical reaction music causes in the brain.

    The kinds of music that were absolutely counter-productive in most environments was Rap, Metal, Acid, or anything in excess volume. In some instances customers would even complain to management.

    The music that was most productive to sales and encouraged customers to stay longer was not surprisingly in two areas: light classical won over everything. Then light, relaxing retro pop played at background volumes would make of all ages people more relaxed, and thus shop more. The music that had proved acceptable to generations over decades-- was the music that made people want to shop more. While elevator music didn't drive people out of the store, it didn't encourage shopping. It made shoppers lethargic. (Elevator music is specifically and carefully chosen to do just that, to prevent panic in enclosed spaces.)

    What we often hear in grocery stores or restaurants-- modern vocal rock played at volume over lousy speakers-- that will literally drive customers out of the store. It was discovered that especially in restaurants (of all kinds), people want "dinner music". In brighter fast food joints low-volume rock worked fine (just as it did in the music stores)... but probably because it was short duration (people were eating lunch they weren't going anywhere, wouldn't be there long). The better the restaurant, the more demanding and low-key the customer tolerance for music.

    Now... what about music instrument stores? Very low-volume because-- they want their customers to get in the mood, but by no means want to discourage testing and buying instruments. Can't test an instrument properly with modern rock blaring over your head. (Never leave music choice and volume up to the employees.) ;D

    Personal experience: I have on more than one occasion gone into the local Guitar Center and tested a guitar-of-interest by playing a classical guitar piece (yes, on an electric solidbody guitar)-- and actually been complimented by customers (younger and older) who "enjoyed that kind of music". They didn't realize it was classical-- they just liked the soothing sound compared to someone strumming some basic chords or thrashing out some metal. And I believe it encouraged them to buy, making them realize that with practice, they could play like that too. And I'm not even skilled. ;D

    The point: regular classical music won them over, just as the marketing showed.

    The marketing studies have been extensive and can be researched on the web. Also interesting is to research "how music affects the human mind". People who think music has no effect on us psychologically or physically will surely find some eye-openers. Even music played at relatively low volumes can dramatically change behavior on both a conscious and subconscious level and even cause chemical and hormonal changes in the body. "Music can soothe the savage beast" is very true. The wrong music can also make it want to kill you. : P

    Want customers to buy? Play the right music... in the background. Business environment music that hits the conscious mind and distracts the customer has failed its purpose.

    Obviously... none of this applies to bars and clubs... where all normal rules go out the window (unless you have a classy bar with elite clientele, in which case the rules fall right back into place).

    Okay, done now. ;D
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  2. 76buck82

    76buck82 New Member!

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    Subliminal suggestive reprogramming says it all. When you hear the music or background noise in a store, you might be influenced without your knowledge or permission. Google "subliminal joe". I used to sell a self improvement product that used the aforementioned product. This form of hypnosis is powerful an effective. In so much that many different applications of this technology are used to prevent theft in stores. When the listener hears tries to ignore the application it works the best. There it reaches the subconscious response centers of ones brain. Some people believe and others are affected.
     
  3. stratmister

    stratmister Strat-Talk Member

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    I can't tune it out and in fact these days, even after world opens up for business again, few if any places cater to folks our age (I'm 60). Here in SF. Bay area for example you can't even ride the Bart train without some jackass who wears his pants below his crotch walking around with a speaker around his neck paired to his phone blaring crap. So I often wear ear plugs when I go out into the world, and these days of course a face mask and shield on top of that.
     
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  4. fishermike

    fishermike Strat-Talker

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    I was indelibly scarred many years ago when I was doing some late-night grocery shopping.

    The music? A choral arrangement of Barry Manilow's "Mandy". It was pretty clear to me that they wanted you to BUY YOUR STUFF AND GET OUT.
     
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  5. meat cheese meat

    meat cheese meat Strat-Talk Member

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    It usually affects my choices. I walked out of Abercrombie and Fitch after seeing something cool in their window. There are restaurants i won't eat in for the same reason. Most Hip Hop, most Punk, some Country & most current commercial songs will drive me away. I like some of every style, though.
     
  6. scooteraz

    scooteraz Senior Stratmaster

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    Depends on the music. In any event, when I have to go to a dealership and wait, I take my iPad and my noise canceling headset. I can watch and listen to whatever I want....
     
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  7. scooteraz

    scooteraz Senior Stratmaster

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    Are they still a thing? I thought they went out of business years ago.
     
  8. meat cheese meat

    meat cheese meat Strat-Talk Member

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    This was years ago.
     
  9. Bob priv

    Bob priv Strat-Talk Member

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    A business welcomes people into their establishment, just as you might welcome people into your home. Your customers are not an interruption of your days activity, but rather the reason for it. Playing a style of music for your personal or employees enjoyment wrong unless it is also the preferred music of your customer base. It is those who patronize your business that makes you successful. Making them uncomfortable is not only wrong, it's stupid.

    You need not solicit a business that ignores you or treats you rudely or impolitely. A shop that is dirty or unorganized store, a store that pelts you with unwelcome music. A store with long checkout lines despite having unused, closed cash registers. You have the right to expect common courtesy.

    Remember, the customer has all of the power. One should use that power by simply walking out and shopping where you feel welcome and comfortable. You owe the business nothing. Perhaps you might write the owner a note explaining that you tried to solicit his place of business, but left because of the uncomfortable environment. Don't go back. Eventually that store will change, or it will close. Businesses cannot exist without customers - YOU are the key element, so reasonably exercise your power.
     
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  10. scooteraz

    scooteraz Senior Stratmaster

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    I think the store in downtown Chicago on State Street closed in the early 1980’s. Their Muzak must not have bothered me as I don’t remember it. But hey, that was when you could still order a Purdey shotgun or a Hardy bamboo fly rod from them. It always seemed odd to me as it was clearly a clothing store, but they had a little (and expensive) upland game/fly fishing section. They seemed very Anglo-centric in those days.

    Hmmm, they still have a web site. So they have an online sales presence, but I don’t see any store finder. And I can’t think of the last time I saw an A&F storefront.
     
  11. White Dog

    White Dog Strat-Talker

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    If it's crap music, I leave early and they might even miss out on the sale that I initially went in for. If it's good music I don't stay any longer than I normally would to take care of business.
    I'm not a "shopper"...if I'm in there, I'm in there for a reason.
     
  12. tery

    tery Dr. Stratster

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    It is the subliminal messages embedded in the stores music that bothers me . . .
     
  13. knh555

    knh555 Most Honored Senior Member

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    I haven't been into a A&F in quite some time, but they are in most of the malls around here. Out of curiousity, I went to their website, searched on "location" in the search box, where it offered me a search by zip code. There are 13 store locations within the Boston area.
     
  14. scooteraz

    scooteraz Senior Stratmaster

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    Hmmm, I missed it first time. You know, hidden in plain sight. Turns out there is one in the mall a couple of miles from my house. I couldn’t tell you where the store is in the mall without looking on a mall map. Since they closed the Sears and there is no sears tool section at the mall, I’m not in the mall much. But still, shows how much attention I pay to the place....
     
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  15. Antmax

    Antmax Strat-Talker

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    I avoid shopping malls. Too much noise, stores competing for your attention with different music, video displays, posters and billboards everywhere. Crowds of people wandering around like zombies, often oblivious to everyone else. I go to the cinema occasionally, but the shopping mall maybe once or twice a year when I have to. Do most of my shopping online these days.

    Trader Joes plays a lot of classic British 80's pop/rock mostly. My local mom and pop hardware store only play classic blues.
     
  16. rocks2oldies

    rocks2oldies Strat-Talk Member

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    The music definitely affects me. I don't like to shop, as I get overwhelmed from the get-go seeing all the items stacked up when I walk in, unless I am really looking and interested in what I am shopping for. However, if I walk into music I don't like, I make a u-turn and walk out! Rap and really loud head-banging music ruins everything for me.
     
  17. DaveDaDude

    DaveDaDude Strat-Talker

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    I had absolutely NO question about that in my mind.

    That being said, if I like the style of music, it probably relaxes me and lets me shop longer... not sure about buying more... maybe. IF there was any way I could have financially afforded it ten years ago, I would have bought that Eric Clapton Strat, that I noodled away on at Guitar Center for quite a while, on the spot. :D As it was, I still have a thirst for one of those.

    If I do NOT like the music, I might continue shopping if I have a specific item/need in mind that I can find quickly. If I am forced to wait a considerable time for service or whatever, I would go elsewhere.

    And, yes, I don't care for rap either. I do understand if they are trying to appeal to a certain demographic, but if it alienates other demographics then they lose those demographics, their choice I suppose. Perhaps if they could find their way to a more neutral music, not as loud, of a mix of music at a "tolerable" level (not sure what dBA that is).
     
  18. DaveDaDude

    DaveDaDude Strat-Talker

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    Excellent idea! :thumb: Of course I always have my cell phone with me anyway, but I don't have noise-cancelling headphones. Might be worth an investment to hook up to MY music while waiting. :D
     
  19. scooteraz

    scooteraz Senior Stratmaster

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    I have the Bose Quiet Control 30 ear buds that are wireless. They are a bit on the expensive side, but work pretty well; good enough that I sometimes wear them for yard work (mowing, trimming). I like the wireless part, the noise canceling is a plus. I also have custom in-ear buds that are wired. I like those better sound wise, and they are what I use when I play at church. But they are even more expensive...and they are wired when I am out and about. Either is OK when I have to fly. I actually bought the Bose because I couldn’t fine my custom ear buds one day. I now use them more for general use.
     
  20. DeanIversenGreen

    DeanIversenGreen Strat-Talk Member

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    I typically run when hip hop and rap is gong on... na thanks