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Updated: Jan 28, 2022

As a business owner, providing best experience to customers and shoppers is always on top of your mind. Optimizing foot falls, retaining them long in the store front helps you in enhancing your business bottom lines. Be it with your shop interiors, ambience, interaction, service quality or just personal charisma- the intent is to see your shopper longer on the premises and goes back happy. Music plays a prominent role in achieving this objective- across business verticals. Time spent in a store has a positive influence on shoppers’ expenditures and perceived music fit with the business image.

That music has the ability to uplift moods is centuries old wisdom. The often repeated adage in one of the world’s oldest language –Sanskrit- is a pointer in this direction (Music influences everyone- from children to reptiles and even beasts). Psychologists world over have caught on the capability of music as a game changer for businesses or office environment and have been harping how it can transform surroundings, employees or shoppers positively. Music is recommended as most effective among the multiple methods to enhance mood of shoppers and retain them longer and positively affect their shopping behavior.

Several research papers on store front atmospherics and their impact on shoppers point out to the importance of playing music in the background for soothing experience and driving up sales. Music as a value proposition has enlivened the retail market space in particular apart from restaurants and other varieties of commercial spaces over several decades. Music has the potential to play on consumers’ perceptions and can be used to modify their in-store behavior and buying patterns.


The answer to this question – one size does not fit all- is so true. It is no surprise that diners enjoy soft music while relishing their food. Music is a double-edged tool- either it can retain or repel shoppers/diners. Usually diners take longer time to complete their dinner when the background music is soft. The Mantra is- Just ensure that they hang on longer in your premises!

It is a medically accepted fact that external stimuli like music affects three emotional states in human beings- Pleasure, Arousal and Dominance- often referred to as PAD. Pleasure implies affective state of feeling good, happy, pleased, or joyful. Arousal is the extent to which an individual feels stimulated, excited, alert, or active. Dominance is the degree to which an individual feels influential, in control, or important. The last factor drives them to spend more!

Another interesting study shows that shoppers spent more money when classical music was played than when the top chart busters were blared. It was also observed that they tended to buy more expensive items with classical music as opposed to the other forms of music and that the tempo and volume of the background music casts a direct impact on the customer behavior. On the other hand, if you are running a gym, pulsating and motivating high speed music propels users to hang on for more time in the premises.

Having said that, it needs to be understood that several factors such as the average age and gender of shoppers who frequent your business, contextual settings like what you sell or offer (grocery, pharmaceuticals, general merchandize, food etc) too play a role in deciding the best music genre for your establishment. Appealing music is a relative term and you would do well to factor the variables in arriving at what gels well with the crowd that frequents your business place.

Psychology says the volume and tempo of the music are what attract customers. For those who are experimenting with music, here is a suggestion – Mix the play list with latest tracks and few old favorites, so that your customers go nostalgic and enjoy staying in your store for a longer time.

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