Music and shopping?

sallymo2015June 12, 2014

The "calming music" topic made me think about the music I play in my shop. I use Pandora most of the time and play Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, jazz, etc. I try to think of music people are somewhat familiar with or could sing along if they wished. I like instrumental but some of them can be more sad sounding (well, that was according to one older customer), but she had a point!
With the tall ceilings and big space, if we don't have music going you can hear yourself talking, which I think people would rather have that type of privacy, and I know I don't want them to hear all of my conversations, either.

What type of music do you like while shopping? We have a home dec store if that makes a difference.

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Annie Deighnaugh

I think light jazz is nice or light classical music. Nothing too loud or intrusive. Something that is conducive to having the creative juices flow.

Years ago, Home Depot used to have wallpaper book library to browse was totally nonconducive to the thinking and creative process... with the beep beep beep of tow motors backing up!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:31AM
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Trader Joes often has 60's music playing. I usually enjoy the music in their stores. Music really does affect one's emotions. A sad song, even an instrumental, can make me cry, so you are wise to pick some up-beat style of music.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:34AM
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If you google "psychology of music to shop by" you will find studies that show the type of music that works best in encouraging buying.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:53AM
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What is the average age of your clientele? That might be something to take into consideration.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:29PM
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It's funny, the other day I was actually listening to the music at Panera's. They keep it at a pleasant volume and very generic. And, as many times as I have been to Panera I really haven't noticed the music.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:36PM
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Muzak type music where pop standards are given a generic re-do seems to work well.

Do you have a Crate & Barrel? They've started playing some "global" music, much of which is atonal or that uses keys and chords that are dissonant to my ear. I would suggest that you do NOT follow their example...LOL! I can't get out of there fast enough.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:43PM
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I am very sensitive to the music being played in stores. The grocery stores I shop at must target babyboomers- they play a lot of 70's songs that I have heard so many times and never want to hear again! I've heard them enough. And they play country rock, which I dislike, and I also don't like women who seem to be screeching- like Whitney Houston or Melissa Etheridge- or sing annoying songs like Shania Twain.

In my case it's counterproductive- I shop as quickly as possible to get out of there!

What a grouch I am! I also don't like sad music- it makes me feel depressed.

I would suggest something light, breezy, and definitely in the background- light jazz or light classical as Annie suggested.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:53PM
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I practically RUN while grocery shopping. Why do we have to endure some lovesick singer wailing away? Add a screech or two and I'm outta there. Stores are losing money on me. I run fast...

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:02PM
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I put in my headphones and listen to MY music at larger stores if I don't like the music. Or if there are loud and whiny kids everywhere. (not kids...loud and whiny kids...don't flame me on this one).

Places that I like the music tend to have a more indy adult rock vibe. I also like 60s rock in stores as well. Not too loud is important.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 9:26AM
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Thanks for your input, I hadn't even thought about doing research on the music, but I'm doing that right now. Already learning some interesting things about the speed of music, and that slower music makes people move slower when shopping---which we want shoppers to take their time! However, I don't want it to be so slow it's depressing. I'm still finding good stuff on the Pandora suggested lists, as well.
Our shoppers have a wide range of age, but primarily women from their 30's to their 80's. I'm early 50's so more or less in the middle of our demographics.
The music is only loud when I get here early and the store is still closed ;)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:52AM
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I am partial to piano music of any kind...which was brought to mind by the pianos in the Nordstrom stores, always by the escalators so the music filters up and down the floors. Sometimes it's a hired musician, sometimes a talented customer, but always a pleasure to hear. Often classical or jazz or even contemporary music put to piano. It is really conducive to lingering for me. So I shop!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 12:35PM
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I can't stand any music played in stores or restaurants. I love shopping in Target because they don't play music. It's so much more peaceful.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 10:31PM
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I guess you have to try to guess what the majority of your clients would like. As you can see from the answers, it varies widely. Our local Cost Plus plays world music, which I love. Fun2BHere hates it. The same with the 60's or 70's music, some love it, some hate it.

I think probably a good mix that's not too loud would be preferable. That way if someone doesn't like what's playing, the next song up would be a different style. I like a wide variety of music, so most things are fine with me, with the exception of rap (sorry). But I guess you're probably not playing that in a home dec store :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 12:30AM
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I'm with AnnaC and think a wide variety of music would work best. That would not include rap by the way. In my opinion, most of that "music", and I use that term broadly, should have a certain consonant in front of the r.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 2:56PM
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Check this out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Can I play music in my store for free?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 6:26PM
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So often I've been in stores and said to myself, "Do they really think this godawful music is gonna make me buy more??"

OTOH, I've been in shops where I've asked, "Who are we listening to?" I'm partial to piano jazz, maybe with a soft vocalist like Diana Krall, and also contemporary folk music such as The Civil Wars.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:26PM
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I never get to hear Van-Halen, KISS, or AC/DC when I'm shopping...;-)
(I'm 52)

At least our store FINALLY went to the Pandora system! Some light rock, Beatles, etc. Most light, upbeat stuff.
EXCEPT....when the GODAWFUL c&w C*AP comes on...YUCK. Almost makes me physically ILL...;-)


    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:37PM
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I have to agree with NancyBee as for being annoyed by " women who seem to be screeching- like Whitney Houston or Melissa Etheridge- or sing annoying songs like Shania Twain". I leave stores with that kind of music as soon as possible. In fact, I am happier if I am unaware that there is any music at all, but if you must have something, then some 1960s Italian instrumentals might have a beneficial effect - to drown out conversations without being offensive. I think anything with vocals very much has the potential to offend at least 50% of the people. But then I like the Global music that Fun2BHere hates.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:58PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Beyond music, check lighting.

I only go into abercrombie and fitch like I would go into an amusement park. I can't believe that people actually spend money in a place that has such loud music, you can't think and such poor lighting, you can't see the merchandise!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:31AM
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I agree, annie! I think it's popular with the high school crowd (or it used to be, not sure if it still is) The music is incredibly loud, everything about it is obnoxious- my daughter liked it when she was in high school and I would go in there with her.

Lars- I see I'm not the only one who doesn't want to hear all that angst and drama (Whitney and others like her) while shopping (or ever!)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:22AM
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