The sound of music on the pocket: a study of background music in retail

Choo, Bryan Jun-Keat, Cheok, Thai-Shawn, Gunasegaran, David, Wan, Kum-Seong, Quek, Yuan-Sheng, Tan, Shu-Lin Clare, Quek, Boon-Kiat, and Gan, Samuel Ken-En (2021) The sound of music on the pocket: a study of background music in retail. Psychology of Music, 49 (5). pp. 1381-1400.

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Influences of background music on consumer behavior have economic potential for businesses. However, the precise parameters for manipulating these effects have remained elusive. In this study, the impact of different genres of background music on consumer spending was examined in three branches each of both a Japanese-themed and a Mexican-themed restaurant chain in Singapore. Three music genre conditions ("pop," "traditional," "mix") corresponding to the restaurants' cultural theme, were played for a week in each restaurant. Data on total spending and spending per customer were collected and analyzed. While direct music genre effects were not statistically significant, results indicated certain trends where higher consumer expenditure was observed in conditions utilizing a mixture of pop and traditional music ("mix"). Specifically, spending per customer for the "mix" condition was 11.4% higher than for "pop" for the Japanese restaurant, whereas it was 6.3% higher for the "mix" condition than for "traditional" for the Mexican restaurant. The results suggest that music could be tailored to different days of the week to appeal to different customer profiles and that music can be parameterized to influence consumer behaviors.

Item ID: 64523
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1741-3087
Keywords: background music, restaurant, sales, Japanese, Mexican
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2020
Funders: Science & Engineering Research Council (SERC), Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 23:38
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520505 Social psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950101 Music @ 70%
90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9099 Other Commercial Services and Tourism > 909999 Commercial Services and Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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