Sensory market research has focused mostly on the effects on consumer behavior of specific cues: light, scent, temperature, … Some of those cues are always present in a retail setting (light, temperature) and past studies have therefore investigated the effects of the variations of those cues (higher/lower temperature, more or less light)
|abercrombie & fitch||clothing||loud music, dark light||targets young customers|
|victoria secrets||clothing||soothing music||facilitate conversation between customers and sales reps|
|starbucks||coffee retail||dark light||conveys feeling of comfort|
|McDonald’s||restaurant||bright light, fast music||triggers consumption, people eat faster|
|Bern’s Steakhouse||restaurant||dark light, soothing music||increases high quality perception|
There is however little research on the joint effect of light and music and even less in the field
At the EMAC 2018 conference the results of a field experiment were presented by 3 researchers from the University of Munster (Germany).
The field experiment ws carried out in partnership with sport action goods retailer Titus operating 36 stores throughout Germany (https://www.titus.de/shops/)
In total 363 real customers agreed to participate in the experiment.
Music and light conditions
Two music conditions were tested : slow (<73 BPM) and fast (>94 BPM)
Two light conditions were also tested in real conditions : Dim light (83 Lu) vs. bright light (374 Lux)
The study design was a 2×2 between-subjects.
Exit survey and data collected
An exit survey was conducted to collect
- feedback on the store
- additional control variables
- It also enabled to document the consent of the participants in the experiment.
Besides the exit survey the researchers also collected objective information on behavior (time spent in store) and transactions (number of items purchased, total amount)
The results of the manipulation of the individual cues are as follows :
- fast music increaes arousal
- slow music increases relaxation
- bright light increases arousal
- dim light increases relaxation
The results also show that congruent conditions can be created that lead to longer time spent in store, more money spent in store, ..
- slow music and dim light
- fast music and bright light
Those results may be interesting for managers willing to create in-store conditions likely to improve their performances.
Image : shutterstockTags: consumer behavior, retail