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The majority of American shoppers (84%) find that when stores play music, it makes for a more enjoyable shopping experience, according to The State of Brick & Mortar report [download page] from Mood Media, which surveyed 11,255 consumers across 9 countries. Many shoppers also find that hearing music in stores lifts mood (81%) and helps them relate and connect to the brand (70%).

In China and Australia, the impact is even greater: 94% of Chinese and 86% of Australians believe music helps creates a better shopping environment, improves mood (88% and 84%, respectively) and strengthens connection to the brand (80% and 72%, respectively).

The biggest draw for Americans to shop in physical stores is the crucial tactile element: the ability to touch, feel and try items (72%). In fact, research indicates that for a majority of Gen Z consumers in the US, seeing an item in a store encourages a purchase.

Meanwhile, women (77%) were more likely than men (67%) to say that being able to touch and try items was an important component to shopping in stores, per Mood Media’s study. While this was the number one reason globally as well, Russian consumers cared the most about the ability to physically interact with the product (87%).

The convenience of getting goods instantly (66%) was the second-most frequently cited reason given by US consumers for shopping in stores, followed by the ability to browse and discover new products (48%). While consumers in 8 of the 9 countries surveyed agreed on the top two reasons, Chinese consumers prioritized atmosphere and experience (39%) above finding new or interesting items (21%).

Notably, atmosphere and experience was especially important to younger shoppers aged 18-24 (33% compared to 17% of all US shoppers).

Since consumers have more options than ever before to shop, retailers are looking for effective ways to improve the shopping experience to entice more consumers to spend their money in stores. Playing music, then, creates an easy, yet powerful way to do this: some 37% of consumers claimed that the right mood can drive them to make impulse purchases.

Music can also alleviate the chief downside to shopping in store. Waiting in line was the most common complaint (60%) globally; yet the majority (77%) of American shoppers said that waiting in line was less dull if music was playing, and this was especially true of younger shoppers (89%).

About the Data: This report is based on online surveys taken by 11,255 global consumers (1,186 from the U.S., and 1,001-2027 respondents from Australia, China, Germany, France, Netherlands, Russia Spain and the UK), aged 18 and over.

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