Under the situation with highly competitive and unstable, retailer try to offer customer no only the appealing merchandises, also provide an arousing environment to draw customers’ attention from thousands of competitors. Music is one of the critical ambient factors that highly influence the store atmosphere and arouse the customers. There are lots of experiments shows that humans emotion and attitude toward an object can be changed due to different kinds of music they had listened, in turn, affects the action and decision-making.
Thereby, many retailers try to enhance the sales by playing appropriate song within the store to introduce effect on customer in different aspects, including the perception of brand image, customer activity, purchasing, time spend on store, affiliation and waiting time (Harvested & North, 1997, p. 274-278). Lots of store managers use music to increase the customer’s purchasing probability, et they are seldom guided by the related research (Burblers, as cited in Harvested & North, 1997, p. 274).
The reason might be that there are insufficient studies on how the tempo, loudness, compatibility of music to brand image affects the behavior of consumer within the store even outside it. The paper is worth to do because it may provide a clearer guideline for retailers to choose a suitable music to help in sales and brand image by investigating how the above factors interact with the customer. Music can be divided in to server components, which are genre, tempo, rhythm, harassing, pitch, harmony, melody, range, orchestration and volume. It seems that the meanings by non-professional musician and hard to controlled by the staff.
Further more, when deciding a playing playbill for suiting a specific brand, consistency of Music-Brand becomes a key element during consideration. Therefore, studying these 3 factors would be the focus of this paper. This study is to investigate the following issues. 1. To study the effect of music with different tempo and volume on shopping time and money spent in-store 2. To evaluate how compatibility of music to brand image effect customer’s shopping activities and perception. 3. To provide a clear guideline of “what is suitable in-store music? ” to retailers 4. To define the importance of music in fashion store 5.
To extend the investigation in Hong Kong by using similar method of other professor with little modification to fit Hong Kong fashion business. Literature Review 1 . Books The book, ‘Being the Shopper-understanding the buyer’s choice’, mentions 2 studies that can prove the in-store music different categories have a certain level of influence in sales volume in different stores received by different age of shopper. The first is ‘An Environment Psychological Study of Foreground and Background Music as Retail Atmospheric Factors’ that published by Yalta & Scavenger. (as cited in Element, 2002, p. 83) In additional, Dry. Leigh McAlister and Michael Rothschild conduct the study and reported in ‘Advance in Consumer Research’. (as cited in Element, 2002, p. 183) Model (2002, p. 45-50) Claim that music can arouse someone and offer hedonistic pleasure to the one received a suitable song, in the book ‘Philosophy, Music and Emotion’. Hedonistic pleasure contributes to a higher consumption tendency, as well s affecting the approach and avoidance response. The result on customers with high cognitive but low affect will be more significant. ‘The Social Psychology of Music’ is written by Harvested & North (1997, p. 68-269), it is appositive impact on consumers. The involvement of consumer to both advertisement and products might be increased, since the attention is drawn from them. 2. Journals Overland, Limb, Morrison & Terrorizes, (2006) had studied the relationship of store music and consumer-brand. It suggests that if the music and brand image match, it projects an emotional pleasure, and greater marketing profit followed. Rather, confusion is existed in shopper’s mind, lead to loss of potential profit. That shows the importance of playing correct music in shop.
Mantilla & Write (2001) suggest that music can serve as a booster to further enhance the evaluation of customer by coordinate with other ambient factors, such as scent. A complementary environment is provided if these 2 factors are congruent. The Journal also mentions the results achieved by different combinations of music tempo and fragrances. In the other hand, Scavenger, Groomsman & Sprout (2004) claim that not all combinations work well, if there is any existence of inconformity teen music and scent. In such cases, it is better to use only one ambient factor – music.
Thus, it proved that retailer should pay more attention on choosing music and considerate it seriously. The impact of music on perceived waiting time is investigated by Hull, Dubbed, & Achebe (1997). Long waiting time would dissatisfy the customers, in turn, lower the market advantage. Retailer always tries to reduce the wait duration by fasten the process, in order to offer a higher degree of satisfaction. However, it found that time perception can be controlled by playing appropriate music which specific heartsickness, that is to say, music can determine the satisfaction of service.
Music can eliminate the abrasion of silent and strangeness, it shorten the distance between salesperson and customers. (Arena, 2003) Salesperson’ persuasiveness might be influenced by kinds of music. All the above academic references are going to state the evidence to support ‘music can definitely have a certain influence in sales volume. ‘ Research Questions and Methodology Tempo, volume and consistence are the 3 factors to be evaluated on the impact on consumer behavior. However, there are no direct relations between above factors awards fashion brands.
Tempo and volume are the characteristics of music, while consistence is varied by the consumer’s perception without exact definition. In order to studies it more specific, 2 different research methods are going to conduct. Is used to study the consistence between brands image and the style of music. The questions, listed below are basic of the questionnaires. 1. What is the range of tempo and volume that can optimize the duration of shopping? 2. How music under different level of tempo and volume increase the purchasing probability? 3. How music affects the perception of waiting time with efferent tempo and volume? . What is the response when consumer received a song which inconsistent to the brand image? 5. How the 3 factors cooperated to increase the sales performance? Experimental Design method is used to investigate the response of consumer to a situation with 1-2 independent variables. First of all, server scenarios are set in a fashion store as below, 1. Background music with medium volume and tempo 2. Without Background music 3. Background music with low volume and low tempo 4. Background music with high volume and high tempo 5. Background music with low volume and high tempo .
Background music with high volume and low tempo 7. Background music with consistent image to the brand 8. Background music with inconsistent image to the brand For scenario 1 and 2 are the control-experiments, used for comparing the effects of variable. In scenario 3-6, dependent variables are the style of song and independent variables are the level of volume and tempo, and vice versa in scenario 7-8. The range of high or low volume and tempo are needed to be specified. Each interviewee is asked to experience to one of the scenarios in shop and each scenario is experienced by 10 people.
After the experience, time for the whole trip and the amount of money spent is recorded and the interviewee’s any motion is observed. Also, questionnaire will be delivered to interviewee to evaluate their emotional changes. Later on the average time spent and expenditure is calculated and compared. Other related data is also collected and some statistical analysis is done to evaluate the founding. Potential Contribution The findings generated can act as the academic references for university students as well as encourage them for further study in this field.