Choosing the Right Type of Music for Your Business

by J.B. Maverick

2 min read

A successful retail store requires purchasing the right type of merchandise, finding the best location, and creating the correct atmosphere for customers to shop. Music makes a place appealing so customers want to stay. A study by the University of California in Santa Barbara revealed the type of music played in a store is directly related to the amount of money a customer spends. Play the wrong kind of music and shoppers may want to leave without even realizing why. Choose a thumping beat that provides a pick-me-up and you may experience increased sales.

Picking the Right Sound

Before you turn on the radio, consider the type of music that fits your customer demographics. A small coffeehouse may benefit from a quiet jazz melody playing in the background, while an upbeat top 40 tune works well in a juniors’ clothing outlet. Create a customer profile list based off your current inventory to help identify your customers. For example, a women’s high-end boutique might not be the best location to crank up rap music. Opt for classical tunes or adult contemporary. Once you know what type of music to play, you can change the tempo throughout the day to keep customers interested. Slow songs in the morning help wake sleepy clients while a more pumping beat in the afternoon delivers energy and spontaneity. You can also change up the tunes with the holidays and different seasons of the year, including playing Christmas music in December or selecting beach tunes in the summer.

Selecting a Sound System

You want to choose your sound system wisely. Avoid sending music out on the floor that is heavily laden in static. Consider upgrading your speakers to deliver quality sound in all locations around your store. A large location requires multiple speakers. In a very large retail shop, different music zones may also be appropriate. Play the latest sports broadcast in the men’s section while choosing kid’s classics in the children’s section. Just be sure that one type of music doesn’t overpower the other. Also, the layout of the store may affect your sound. A clothing store with lots of fabric muffles the sound coming from a set of speakers so you may have to turn up the volume. A large warehouse selling bikes and outdoor equipment may echo, so you may have to turn down the sound.

Obeying Copyright Laws

Before you can play any type of music in a public location in Canada, it’s important to ensure the performer and others involved in producing the music get compensated for the performance. Retailers purchase a SOCAN licence that allows them to play a mix of music in their shop. The cost of the licence depends on the square footage of the establishment. The licence covers virtually all types of music and allows retailers to display lyrics and other performance-related materials on TV screens in the establishment. If you frequently have live performances at your shop, you may need to contact the Neighborhood Rights Collective of Canada to pay additional royalties. Playing music at your small business location can give you the opportunity to increase sales if you keep these strategies in mind.

References & Resources

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