The power of music to retail

With the festival season in full swing and Glastonbury creating an enormous buzz two weeks ago, more and more brands are seeking to embrace the power of music and explore the positive impact it can have in retail, dining and hospitality, particularly as companies look to boost sales in a challenging market.

The right music can have a massive impact on sales.  According to research 79%* of consumers in the UK have indicated that music encourages them to stay in stores longer.  Research by PlayNetwork shows sales uplift of 15% on implementation of store sound systems while Music Works states 84% of shoppers say they like shops that play in-store music and, of that percentage, 23% claim they would be prepared to pay 5% more for goods if music was being played.

Music is becoming an increasingly important part of the in-store ‘environment’ package and can be a customer’s first impression of a store if they are not greeted by a member of staff.

Brands like Burberry are harnessing the power of music by teaming up with both established and emerging artists on their Burberry Acoustic label.

PlayNetwork, is a provider of bespoke music and video entertainment for brands the world over and works with companies including Starbucks and Hilton hotels in North America.  In the UK, PlayNetwork provides MAC Cosmetics UK and Sunglass Hut’s Covent Garden flagship stores with carefully crafted content profiles to complement the brands and enhance the customer experience.

MAC Cosmetics employed PlayNetwork to utilise its strong links with US and UK record labels to fulfil their need of acquiring music from independent artists (that its make-up artists had requested after hearing in nightclubs). Sunglass Hut, meanwhile, were keen for up-tempo music to create a trendy nightclub vibe, which it believes draws in customers whilst also appealing to its young consumer-base.

In both projects, PlayNetwork has enabled staff to create their own playlists using the requested tracks that they had sought. The playlists themselves are intuitive and can be configured to avoid repeats during the day.

Tempos can be pre-programmed as per each store’s specific requirements, and modified at any time. Requiring only an amplifier, an internet connection and the floor space itself, PlayNetwork’s offering can be installed by any retailer, and is easy-to-use; providing simplistic play, stop, and skip buttons along with basic volume controls.

The recent Sunglass Hut store launch also features video walls displaying the latest product designs and trends.  The store also benefits from a ‘social sun’ feature, which enables customers to try on glasses, photograph themselves and upload to social media sites for instant peer-to-peer feedback.  ‘Social sun’ also includes a bar code scanner which provides details of other product ranges which might appeal to the customer and their availability.

*IFPI Digital Music Report 2009

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