December’s here and it’s time to get your customers in the holiday shopping mood. For many consumers, holiday shopping can be both tiring and tiresome. Spending the day fighting holiday traffic, fighting crowds of other shoppers, dealing with harried customer service types and walking miles inside malls or on sidewalks can leave anyone mentally and physically exhausted.
All most shoppers want is to make the holidays perfect for their family and friends. By the time some shoppers arrive at your store, they might be hoping for a great holiday shopping experience. While the right holiday music can coax those tired shoppers into a holiday mood, smart shop owners know that the type of music played – as well as at what volume and how often – can make the decision to keep shopping or running right back out the door.
Ease into the Spirit
The best way of introducing holiday music onto your playlist is to slowly ease it into your shop in between the usual tracks you play. Now is the perfect time to slip a few Christmas songs into your lineup and gradually increase the number of holiday songs throughout the month.
Don’t get carried away, though. Too much exposure to holiday music can have a negative effect on shopping behavior. An average consumer’s enjoyment of holiday music will eventually reach a peak before crashing into annoyance or boredom. Everyone enjoys it at first, but timing is everything.
Choosing the Right Music
This is the time of year when all the huge, national chain stores compete for the title of “Most Memorable Christmas Campaign” by snapping up and blaring the latest holiday songs published by big-name entertainers. They strategize everything in their stores down to the tiniest of details and analyze at what point they can make the biggest impact. Smaller, privately-owned shops can get away with being a little late to this particular party, so don’t feel obligated to start playing these songs the moment they’re released.
Research indicates that when consumers hear holiday songs they hate, it can actually turn them off so much that they’ll leave a store to avoid hearing them. So song selection is as important to successfully playing holiday music as timing.
Keep in mind that not all of your customers enjoy the heightened levels of holiday festivity this time of year. Many may be put off by holiday music in general, which will naturally cut shopping times short. Others, feeling pressured in participating in the highly commercialized “holiday spirit” of spending can feel like they’re being manipulated.
However, taking the time to match the vibe of your business with the type of holiday music you choose might take the edge off some of that holiday shopping angst. For example, shoppers in their 20s don't want to hear cheesy commercial hits in their favorite clothing store, but they might not object to the ambient background sound of an acoustic rendition of a holiday favorite.
Popular holiday music is one of the most influential components of Christmas season marketing. Studies have found that playing songs with subtle religious undertones encourages consumers to spend more on others while more secular music encourages shoppers to spend more on themselves. So, your shop’s holiday background music playlist will depend on your familiarity with your clientele.
Believe it or not, playing those familiar, classic holiday songs consumers hear year after year help enforce the festive spirit. Those old tunes remind shoppers of previous Christmases filled with joyful memories. They remind shoppers of family celebrations, romantic winter evenings and presents under the tree. Modern music artists find it hard to compete against the classics, due to the nostalgia induced by hearing classic holiday tunes. Adults haven’t tied new songs to any heartfelt memories, so it’s harder to listen to them and reminisce about the good times.
Keep it Legal
Remember that it’s vital to have a business-use license to play any type of music in a retail setting – and that includes holiday music. Just downloading and playing holiday music in your shop – even from sites such as iTunes – cannot be done legally. These songs are purchased and downloaded for personal use – not for business purposes. Illegally playing a few holiday songs for a short period is certainly not worth taking the chance on being hit with a potential penalty of several thousand dollars per song.
It’s far easier (and much more sensible) to handle the legalities and logistics of choosing and playing your in-house holiday playlist by working with a professional service such as Retail Radio. We can provide you with an impressive catalog of holiday music that is fully rights-secured and can be tailored for your clientele and the mood you’d like to set for your holiday retail campaign. All of Retail Radio’s music meets legal requirements for business use and our proprietary software is easily set up.
The holidays can be a hectic time for shoppers and retail store owners alike. Choosing the right holiday music can boost your brand while enhancing your customers’ holiday shopping experience.