Consumer Psychology: 4 Ways How Music Affects Buying Decisions

In the neurological sense, music is the transfer of energy from an instrument to the brain’s auditory center where we process the vibrations and respond physiologically. It makes us feel better about life and it strengthens our brain because we are being exposed to complexity and dexterity.

In the universal sense, music is God, love, life, death, night, day, motion, cycles, rhythm, and flow. It makes us move our bodies to heal our souls. The vibrations can be harnessed and used for anything including: self expression, sleep medicine, an emotional regulator, a way to help us get focused etc.

There are no limits to what music can be utilized for. Curious? Then follow on for Consumer Psychology: 4 Ways How Music Affects Buying Decisions!

1. Unconscious Shopping

Like visual advertising, acoustic advertising has an impact on the unconscious which customers are affected by from the time a thought enters their mind at home to the time they leave the store. When paired with music, shopping can affect people through classical conditioning. When shoppers visit a mall, they experience an atmosphere of bustling shoppers as soon as they enter.

Music and all other elements used in a mall sets the tone for the rest of the shopping experience. You may not have noticed, but the music played in the mall can have a nostalgic effect on you. It’s because younger shoppers are a major focus of marketing efforts. Businesses want shoppers to remember them after they leave, so they play music that is relevant because in social settings, music is a major component of conversations and experiences that will last a lifetime.

Customers are more satisfied by shopping experiences where they are exposed to music. Because of this, customers leave the store with the intention of returning some day because of the methodical efforts of marketing personnel who understand the human mind and behavior.

2. Calming and Energetic Music

Music can invoke every emotion possible in the human brain and body on the emotional spectrum. Music influences purchasing decisions because it can have an effect on your mood and physiological state. For some people, being in a bad mood may mean they need to shop more because it is therapy for them.

Research has shown that people may actually purchase less when they are not in a positive mood. Playing music in the background can be a mood booster and it can be calming depending on the genre of music. Calming music may increase the amount of time people spend in stores because their current emotional state settles their mind and it gives them more time to make informed decisions.

They will read more labels and think carefully about what they will purchase which does not always benefit the business. Businesses would rather customers impulse buy without thinking too much about it, because the less time they spend considering which product is best, the less time they spend placing other products into their cart.

A conscious shopper is a corporation’s worst nightmare. Music that is played at a fast tempo like pop music and techno music speeds up the buying process. Upbeat music speeds up the buying process because the energy of music is contagious and customers have a temporary energy boost so their hearts beat faster, thought patterns become faster, and their walking speed increases also.

3. Capitalizing on Buyer Preoccupation

Music causes people to make strong associations between them and their environment. People remember locations longer when they have a strong external sensory stimulus that will leave a lasting impression. When customers are exposed to music during times that are significant to them personally and to society in general, they will remember how it made them feel, and what they were doing. Forming a stronger mental connection is even true when shopping while listening to music.

On days like the Super Bowl in the United States, people are online and in stores purchasing jerseys of their favourite teams, food for tailgating, and tickets from vendors. When they are in a store and they hear inspirational and motivational music, they begin to feel like their team will be victorious because they are in a competitive state of mind.

The pride that comes with being a lifelong fan of a team overtakes your thoughts, so you begin to impulse buy key chains, mugs, flags, shirts, bumper stickers and more because you waited your whole life for your team to reach this stage.

When you look back on moments like these, you’ll remember the people that you celebrated with and the music that accompanied the experience. It will eventually drive you back to the fan store for more items to live that positive-associative experience all over again.

4. Music and Environmental Perception

Customers may experience a new way of shopping when they are exposed to music in a given environment. The shoppers are being influenced by the lighting, smell, open space, images, height of the facility and more. Music can alter your perception of the environment you shop in by making you perceive it as welcoming or unwelcoming.

The effect that music has on the environment where you shop reduces agitation and makes crowded places more manageable because you don’t hear the loud chatter, footsteps, and screaming that always occur in a mall.

Music can induce different behaviours such as the desire to approach another individual in the mall. It makes you more welcoming to being approached by others as well which means you are receptive, open to communication, and being enticed to make a purchase. In the foreground and background, sound can create a positive perception of large spaces because customers feel they have more control over their decisions, and they are less irritable.

Shopping can be a great experience when you are out with friends and relatives on any day of the year. It is best to be conscious about what you shop for though because otherwise you are going to impulse spend your money on products that you may not return.

When buying groceries, researching the ingredients that are in the food will keep you and your family healthy and make you aware of items you should avoid. When buying clothing, you should be frugal even when you are being fashionable.

Companies are experts at using hedonic stimuli to influence your purchasing decisions, so wearing your own headphones can prevent you from being influenced by their tactics. Music is meant to be enjoyed though, so hearing a fancy tune in the background and humming along is permitted as well.

Next time you’re out shopping at your favourite store, remember to stop and listen to the sounds that are being played and the effect it has on your cognition, emotions, and body…

How has music affected your buying habits? How does it make you feel around the holidays; and what are some of your favourite memories from your days spent at the mall as a child? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram

Jamar Sanders

Jamar is originally from Chicago, IL, and now lives in Phoenix, AZ. He is in great health physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. He's a new member of VASA Fitness where he's starting to exercise vigorously. Exercise makes him feel stronger and more courageous. He's also passionate about mental health, art, and Christ.

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