March 15, 2010

Where's The Music In Your Store?

We're shopping at an outdoor mall in Pennsylvania with stores like Banana Republic, Izod, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger.

It's just after opening on Sunday March 14, the day Daylight Savings Time ended. When clocks "spring ahead", an hour of sleep vanishes since people rarely go to bed an hour earlier. That means small crowds and lots of parking. We're also up because a waffle maker in our hotel's breakfast lounge triggered a fire alarm at 6:48 AM.

Even without people, there's sound everywhere: music. Lively and mellow. No deep messages, though. Variety. No heavy metal. Some stores play current hits. Others pick classics. Crocs played commercial-free Sirius/XM satellite radio.

The Effect
Music makes shopping more enjoyable. This inexpensive extra helps establish an atmosphere. Hey, can we go to Banana Republic to check out the tunes? Not quite. The music isn't enough of a draw on its own but adds to the experience.
Other atmospheric elements are lighting, flooring and location. And smiling staff. And even crowds. Your choices send messages about your quality and prices, whether value or premium. You wouldn't expect paper napkins at a nice Italian ristorante or cloth napkins at Pizza Hut.
Maybe the music is a modern replacement for bland Muzak. Maybe the tempo changes during the day. The music definitely beats silence and the mundane chatter of other shoppers. Shoppers probably linger longer and spend more.

Where's the music in your store?

PS If you visit clients, you're bringing part of your store. What atmosphere accompanies you?

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