IN THE NEWS: Half of Britain’s shoppers leave stores over awful music…

Should you have music playing in your store, cafe, restaurant or even your office? A new survey shows it isn’t just whether you should play music but what music you should play you should be looking into… 

Music when shoppingHalf of Britain’s shoppers have left a store because they were annoyed by the music. This is the result of a study carried out by Immedia PLC which develops music strategies for retailers.

The findings illustrate the danger High Street brands face by not developing a suitable ‘sound’ for their brand.

Over 1,000 shoppers were asked both about their attitude to in-store music, and about how music affects them psychologically and emotionally.

Key results are as follows:
* Three-quarters of shoppers (73%) will notice the music playing in-store.
* Out of those that do, 40% will stay longer in a shop if they feel the music is well chosen for the environment.
* Conversely, 40% will spend less time there if they feel the music isn’t suitable.
* 49% of all shoppers said they have stayed longer in shops because they like the music.
* Excluding don’t knows, half of all shoppers say they left a shop because they didn’t like what was playing or because it was annoying
* Overall, a quarter of shoppers (23%) say they would be less likely to return to a retailer if they don’t like the music it plays.
Commenting on the results, Immedia Plc CEO Bruno Brookes said: “Brands currently spend upwards of £25 billion a year on visual point of sale material.
“However, while companies take great care in thinking about what customers see, nowhere near the same investment goes into optimising what they hear.
“In fact, music is the single most effective way to capture the attention and imagination of people who are on the move inside your shop or restaurant.”
Immedia’s scientific advisor Dr Vicky Williamson adds: “Music can profoundly affect our mood, emotions and energy levels. This new survey demonstrates how important ‘background music’ is to our shopping experiences.
“Music should be chosen with care and attention or it can result in negative customer feedback, lower sales, and fewer customer referrals.”

To highlight the impact sound has on UK shoppers, Immedia has today launched a new website. also includes a blog about retail engagement and music psychology.

* Incidentally, don’t forget even if you are a very small business you will need a licence to ‘broadcast’ music – even in a small office.

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Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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