1 Change You Can Make Right Now To Boost Holiday Shopping

New study reveals how sound and music influences people’s shopping behaviors. Learn how to do holiday music right to get people in the purchasing mood.
a man and a woman sitting on a table

Although the weather outside may be frightful, the ambience and music inside doesn’t have to be! Especially if you own or operate a retail store where shoppers are getting into the holiday spirit.

Music and sounds shift people’s experiences dramatically, specifically their shopping behaviors. To delve into this topic, we at Soundtrack Your Brand, the world’s fastest growing B2B music streaming service, partnered with MRC Data and found tangible connections between music and consumers’ behaviors. In conclusion? Don’t play bad holiday music, your shoppers AND employees don’t want to hear it.

The new study reveals the potential for background music to reach 95% of U.S. adults.  More importantly, 79% of respondents say they take notice of the music being played in the background, to varying degrees.The study found that “background music,” the music played at restaurants, bars, stores, etc., is one of the top music sources in America.

Aside from bad customer service, there’s often nothing that can annoy your patrons more than bad music. If the right sounds aren’t coming out of an establishment’s speakers, many people will hustle and prance their way right out of a store. U.S. consumers collectively make 24.5 billion visits to retailers per year. The study found that 40.8% of Americans spend more time in a store because of what’s playing on the speakers, with 20.7% saying that music makes them more likely to make more purchases.

How to do Holiday Music in Stores Right

This year, reconsider looping the usual list of Christmas “classics” such as Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” and the same songs that have been part of the repetitive mall song rotation played at least 20 times a day every holiday season since forever in stores across America. Over 17% of U.S. shoppers dislike Christmas music and a quarter of retail staff say too much Christmas music makes them less festive, according to a previous Soundtrack Your Brand study.

It’s essential for establishments to choose to intermingle Christmas music into the chosen genre that fits your brand. For example, if you usually play pop music, choose pop covers from favorite Christmas songs -- there are hundreds to choose from -- not JUST Mariah Carey. But don’t forget to play regular pop music too. If jazz is your key, play Christmas-themed jazz music plus regular jazz.

There are millions of classic and contemporary artists who have covered classic Christmas songs. There’s no excuse to simply go with the same artist on rotation. Try playing unusual versions of classic Christmas music to break out of the rut. Try 50’s rock-n-roll, doo-wop, or reggae-influenced versions of traditional Christmas songs.

What’s most important is to be bold and unafraid to be different. If you make the right choice for your brand, you’ll see a direct correlation to increased sales. And most importantly, your shoppers and employees will thank you.

-Ola Sars, Founder, CEO & Chairman of Soundtrack Your Brand