How to harness the power of shopping music for your business

Editorial Team

4 min read
Woman holding up black shirt in store

Music has long been recognized for its numerous benefits, such as emotional regulation, stress relief, and memory enhancement. However, its potential effect on consumer behavior is often overlooked.

Playing music in your store can not only create an inviting and stimulating environment, but it can also be a powerful tool to encourage customers to spend more time browsing and make additional purchases.

Why does music matter?

In-store music possesses the transformative power to shape our motivations and mental states. In fact, studies have demonstrated how shopping music influences consumer behavior, with younger shoppers spending more time shopping when instrumental music is playing and older shoppers spending more time shopping with lyrics.

How does music influence consumer behavior?

Choosing the right music in retail stores is important It all comes down to three characteristics of background music: genre, tempo, and volume. By being intentional with your music selection based on these factors, you can create an inviting and stimulating environment that triggers the release of dopamine in our brains, which can lead to positive customer experiences and increased sales.


The genre of in-store music you choose sets the tone for your customers’ shopping experience. It can engage them, encourage longer browsing times, reduce rush, and promote impulse purchases. The genre you pick should align with your target clientele and the nature of your business. So, what is the best music for shopping? Classic rock may entice baby boomers to spend more, while pop music can encourage spending in clothing, accessories, and grocery stores. Restaurants can consider classical music to inspire diners to order more expensive menu items.


The tempo of music can also influence shopper behavior. Slow music creates a calming ambiance, making shoppers feel less rushed and more open to unexpected purchases. It allows customers to contemplate their options, expanding their consideration beyond their initial shopping list. Grocery stores often utilize slow music to encourage exploration and impulse buying. Additionally, matching the tempo to the time of day can further enhance the shopping experience, with upbeat music energizing mornings and mellow music fostering relaxation in the afternoon.


Maintaining the right volume is essential for creating the proper atmosphere. According to a one study, loud music can be distracting and hinder focus, leading to shorter shopping durations. On the other hand, softer music creates a soothing, yet stimulating, environment that can entice customers to spend more time browsing.

What to consider before playing music in stores

Convinced music is worth adding to the mix at your store? To ensure a seamless incorporation of in-store music, there are a few things to consider.


First and foremost, determine if you need to acquire a permit or license to comply with copyright laws and ensure fair compensation for artists and music creators. Even though it’s easy to connect Pandora, Spotify, or even the radio to the speakers in your business, this might infringe on copyright because your accounts that you listen to music on are intended for individual use. Thankfully, The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) offers various license options tailored to different business needs that can help you get to playing music in your store in no time.

Finding the right mix

To find the right musical mix for your business, you can try an app like Rockbot with your retail POS system to test out different genres and then track their effect on sales with POS reporting. This experimentation can help you identify which music resonates best with your customers and enhances their overall experience. Additionally, in-store music not only shapes your customers’ experience, but it can also create a better working environment for your employees. It is an indispensable tool for business owners across various industries.

By harnessing the power of music, you can influence consumer behavior, create an inviting environment, and drive sales in your retail store. Remember to choose the right genre, tempo, and volume, tailor your music selection to your target audience, and obtain the necessary licenses to ensure a legally compliant and rewarding experience for both your customers and your business alike.

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