An awesome colleague cohort, and client of mine recently emailed me this great question and I just had to share it with all of you!
I, myself, haven’t read a whole lot of research. In fact, I don’t think there’s a whole lot out there. But I do think that the study you read is among the most accurate.
If you choose music that your target market or core customer likes the best, they will linger longer. It’s also important to have music that doesn’t drive you or your staff members crazy! If you’re on edge, your customers will sense it.
The truth is a happy customer and a customer who is in tune with the environment buys more, so don’t worry about what the malls are doing because your customers don’t shop there all that much. The reason we see malls choosing the music they do is that they’re generally trying use top 40 type music to appeal to the masses. There are also often loads of stores in the malls that appeal to teens and young adults and that is the music that they like best.
If you really want to focus on choosing music that your customers like best; you could try creating a survey monkey survey (or use a similar software or system) and invite them to complete it or complete it with them at the till! It could be fun and customers get to feel involved. Also, I’m sure most branding gurus would say that the music you choose needs to fit with your brand. If your brand isn’t a super young, high octane brand... I wouldn’t worry about pushing the high speed music.
Last, but not least, we come to holiday music... I know it's not everyone's favourite, but it’s an absolute must. That’s where most of the retail studies pertaining to music have been done and it’s proven to drive sales up quite a bit! Usually, the chain stores start weaving in the odd quiet holiday song about November first, then after Remembrance day, you’ll hear it every 2nd or 3rd song (you may have to make custom CD’s or playlists for your store). As of December first, it should be all Holiday, all the time! You will get the odd customer that may complain about it, but even they will be more likely to pick up a couple of Christmas gifts (should that be applicable) because it’ll be top of mind.
Here are some links to research I've found!
Association for Consumer Reasearch - Using Store Music for Retail Zoning
Michael Morrison, Monash University - The Power of Music and its Influence
Live Science - 7 Holiday Marketing Tricks Retailers Use
And here's a little bit on the Shoppers Drug Mart Holiday music "controversy"
Canadian Retailer Puts Christmas Music on Pause
Shoppers Drug Mart Hits Mute on Christmas Music
I gladly welcome all of your questions and comments! If you have a question that you would like answered in the blog or would like to know more about our services, leave a comment or contact us here.
This week’s Flourish Tip was all about looking to large chain retailers to find out when to display seasonal merchandise.
Think of every holiday or end of season as a big expiry date looming over the merchandise. After that date passes, the merchandise is no longer profitable to you. You either need to sell it at a large discount or pay someone to pack it up and then have it take up storage space which you are also paying for! Not to mention, it eats up inventory dollars for that holiday or season during the next go-around!
With that being said, earlier is often better when it comes to seasonal merchandise and your profits. Obviously, this is within reason, as you don’t want to have Christmas merchandise in your store in July or Valentines merchandise hanging around in December, but you want to make sure that you’re giving your merchandise ample opportunity to sell before it’s “expiry date”.
This is where large chains come in handy! They have the research and experience behind them and it’s worth checking them out for a cue as to when to put out yours! Visit a nearby mall for stores with similar offerings to your store and make notes about when merchandise is going out!
Here are some guidelines that will help you in the next few months. If you have fall merchandise, it should be out for customers to view starting in August. Even when the weather appears nice, people are thinking ahead to upcoming seasons and many want the newest and latest buys! Christmas related merchandise should go out by November 1st. If you are a retailer that doesn’t sell much Halloween related product, then once Canadian Thanksgiving is over, it’s your time to get Christmas in place! Yes, many customers will comment that it’s early, remind them that it’s only a couple of months away! And many will balance those customers out and start purchasing gotta-have-it items right away.
If you’re still not sure when to get things out, hire an expert! And remember; adjust your ordering according to when merchandise needs to be in-store after your reconnaissance mission to the mall. You’ll be happy you did!
Happy Selling! Need help creating amazing seasonal displays? Call or email us today!
Melissa Mainville is the owner and operator of Flourish Design & Merchandising. She has a passion for retail and tons of experience in the industry. Learn more here.