With a surge in store closings, many companies are finding new ways to enhance the customer experience at their brick and mortar locations. Real Simple talked to Joel Beckerman, a sonic expert and founder of Man Made Music, to tell us more about one trend: background music.
Target, for example, has been testing “over-head” music since fall 2011 and Target spokesperson Megan Boyd says “guest and team member feedback was almost universally positive” in their initial test-run. Now, the company has added music to their 36 small-format stores and select locations that have been renovated. By the end of the year, they’re planning to have the total number of stores playing music jump from 65 to 180.
“The need for products is no longer strong enough to lure customers into stores,” Beckerman says. “With online shopping becoming increasingly pervasive, the drivers to visit physical shops has to supersede convenience and transcend to experience… the presence of music has been known to reduce perceived line wait times, and increase linger times, lingering leading to higher sales.”
Beckerman adds that he predicts Target’s sales—and a feeling of brand loyalty among its customers—will increase with this venture.
“Sound has the capacity to complete the illusion of transporting to another world, even if that’s just to buy a pair of shorts for the summer,” he says. “It’s essential that the experience is cohesive from every angle.”