Retail stores use in-store radio to play carefully selected music in the store while the customers shop. It consists of a closed circuit radio system instead of FM radio. These closed circuit radio systems are managed
by an external company who the retail store hires to not only keep the system running, but also to manage the playlist, and help make the playlist itself based on the personality of the retail store as well as the
personality of the target consumer who is buying from that store. The ultimate aim is to increase sales. How is that even possible? Welcome to catering to the five senses of the consumer as they go about choosing
items in a retail store.
Why is catering to the senses so important?
In the evolution of the retail store from the barter system to the online store today, the physical retail store still retains its charm because the customer can see, touch and even taste samples before making a purchasing
decision. This makes a huge difference in his or her purchasing behaviour as opposed to the cold, albeit convenient, interface of a website. So nowadays retail stores are looking to make an outing to the retail
store an experience instead of just another task. The three senses above being taken care of, there remains that of smell and sound. Smell does not have to be restricted to the perfumes section, but if the retail
store smells nice and relaxing overall, it helps relax the customer more, make him or her spend more time there, and want to keep coming back. Aroma therapy combined with retail therapy. Similarly, retail stores
use sound as a subliminal influencing method. Music chosen carefully can vastly affect a consumer’s buying behaviour. It can create an atmosphere through playlists chosen keeping the target consumer in mind. It
can help speed up or slow down rate of moving through the store. It can set the mood for purchases during festive seasons and more.
Music can reinforce the retail store’s brand identity
Products may be identical across the market, but it is the brand that makes the difference in most purchases. This is because marketers invest a lot of thought and money behind building a brand identity which the consumer
identifies with, likes, and goes for without thinking too deeply about his or her purchase. Brand identity can be manifested in many ways, for example the tone of voice in its advertisements, the way the store looks,
and yes, even in the music the store plays. For example if you are a wine store or a store that projects an image of quality and expense, your should go for classical music. If you are a young brand, and by that
I do not mean in terms of years of existence, you will want to play light rock. That way it will go with the image you are portraying of yourself, as well as what your consumer relates to and is comfortable listening
The psychology of in-store music
A person can broadly be categorized under one of the Big Five personality traits, Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. And, understandably, there is a direct correlation
between an individual’s personality trait and his or her musical preferences and their responses when that music is played to them. Let us look a little deeper into each with respect to in store music selection.
For people with openness to experience
People who fall in this category generally perceive themselves as being more intelligent and react with positive emotion to melancholy and slow music while still being open to all other kinds, specially rebellious music.
They do not like contemporary music that plays on loop and seem mindless to them. If your retail store caters mostly to such people, you will know what to not play.
For people with conscientiousness
People who fall in this category are generally organized, purposeful, disciplined and ambitious. They do not like rebellious music and like to conform to tradition. They are no-nonsense customers who come to shop, do
it efficiently, and leave as soon as their job is done. Relaxing music will also not work on such people, and investing time in thinking about music for them will be a waste of time as it will not influence their
For people with Extraversion
People who fall in this category actively seek out social interaction and are easily taken in by a plethora of external stimuli. They are full of energy and positivity. Lively upbeat music like rap, hip hop, electronic
and dance music works for them and you will find them humming and dancing along the shop floor from aisle to aisle enjoying the overall experience of shopping. Their mood is infectious and it will leave other customers
feel good about being around them too. In store music is highly effective in influencing the purchasing behaviour of such people.
For people with Agreeableness
People who fall in this category are amicable, social, kind, warm, friendly and not overbearing in any way. They like to hear upbeat but conventional music. They are also open to new kinds of music they have not heard
before. You can experiment with your in store music with such people and see what works best.
For people with Neuroticism
People who fall in this category are anxious and depressed and shy away from loud or rebellious music. They relax a bit when they hear country music or pop music. Keeping the in store music light and non-surprising,
and they will go with the flow.
Why is it important to have a dedicated in store radio
Companies who deal in in store radio are attuned to all the above nuances of human psychology and the types of music that goes with the type of people concerned. This is because this is their job. When, as a retail
store, you have a dedicated in store radio company working with you, it takes the headache of making and changing your playlists out of your workload, and you can leave it to the experts. They will first understand
your store’s personality and then match it with your target audience and make and change your playlists and play and manage them for you, while you concentrate on the other nitty gritties of store management.