Music hits right note with staff and customers, according to research

As the trend for online shopping continues to rise, research conducted by music licensing company PPL into the holiday retail sector has revealed how retailers could boost their bottom line by playing music and enhancing their in-store customer experience.

A resounding 97% of staff surveyed recommended that all retail stores play in-store music. 99% agreed that in general, retail stores that play music tend to be modern and appealing places to shop, providing brands with a real advantage in a competitive marketplace.

Key findings

Further results show that in-store music creates a welcoming environment for both staff and customers. Almost all staff respondents (99%) agree that customers would be happier if music was played in-store, whilst 81% agree that playing music creates a better atmosphere for shoppers. This in turn can help to increase customer dwell time – over half (51%) of customers said they would spend more time browsing in a store playing music, while three in four (76%) agree that they feel more relaxed shopping in retail stores that play music.

As the New Year brings in the peak holiday booking season, with leading holiday retailers reporting record sales this January as Britons face the winter blues, the research also shows that music can positively influence consumers’ purchasing decisions – around two in three (66%) customers agree that playing music removes any awkward silences when shopping for a holiday, while 54% agree that shopping in a store playing music would put them in the ‘holiday mood’ and increase their likeliness of purchasing a holiday as opposed to a store that does not play music.

Additionally music can enhance positivity and productivity in the workplace; 95% of staff felt that in-store music creates a better working environment, making them more productive. The majority (96%) of staff said that playing music in store improves their mood and 83% went as far as to say that they would be demotivated if the music was turned off.

The genre of music for staff is also a key consideration for in-store music – 88% stated that they would prefer to listen to music by recognisable performers rather than sound-alikes, highlighting the value and appreciation for original artist music.

Music can also help to give a brand a competitive advantage in the market place; 99% of staff said that in general they think retail stores that play music tend to be more modern and appealing places to shop – something that is more important than ever, given the rise in online shopping.

PPL has for a number of years been committed to understanding the true value that music can bring to the business environment through its joint research initiative with PRS for Music called MusicWorks. Below are some testimonials from our licensees on how they feel that music can benefit business:

Laurence Bresh, marketing director, STA Travel said: ‘We find having music playing in our stores creates a relaxed and informal environment for both customers and staff. We are the world’s leading student and youth travel company and are here to help young people start their adventure. Having a range of music playing in our 50 UK stores creates a great atmosphere to allow time to chat to our travel experts and ensure our customers have all the tools necessary to create their ideal itinerary.’

Michael Clark, managing director, Imagesound, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of background music, said: ‘These days people expect to hear great music wherever they go and over the years it has become an integral component of the retail mix. How you create an experience is a real art form, understanding the way in which a combination of music and lyrics can help to reflect a range of emotions, behaviours and needs for both staff and customers – two completely distinct groups. Creating a positive atmosphere for staff through shifts in music tempos throughout the working day, as well as allowing for any personalised staff orientated playlists during pre-opening and closing hours, amongst other things, can really help to enhance job satisfaction and motivation. Equally, in an age where more and more shoppers are turning to the internet, you need to create a bit of retail theatre to inspire those all-important purchases. As this research shows, getting that balance right can provide a brand with a real differentiator in a competitive marketplace.’

Christine Geissmar, operations director, PPL added: ‘We are committed to raising awareness of the numerous emotional and financial benefits that music can bring to businesses.  In a difficult economic climate, our research shows that placing music at the heart of the customer experience can reap real rewards – including enhanced customer experience, staff satisfaction, increased dwell time and sales. All we ask is that anyone choosing to play recorded music is legally compliant by obtaining a licence, ensuring that all those who invest their time and money in making recorded music are paid fairly for their work.’

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