Over the last couple of decades and particular the last few years there have been studies which show how the music playing in shops and restaurants can affect how much money we spend.
This is quite a scary thought since every shop I step into is constantly playing music and makes me question if that has influenced my purchases. Not sure how this would work in tweenville Supre which blasts music so loud that everyone goes deaf even across the other side of the shopping centre.
So what does the research say?
Study 1: Music and Wine purchase
One study by North, Hargreaves and McKendrick in the UK looked at the effects of playing French and German music in a wine store. One the days when French music was played shoppers bought more French wine and the same effect was seen on the days when German music was played.
Study 2: Music and restaurant spend
Another study by Shilcock and Hargreaves measured the effects of classical, pop music and no music on the average spend per customer per night in a UK restaurant. More money was spent on days where classical music was played. A number have studies have confirmed this which suggests classical music gives consumers a sense of affluence, leading to greater purchasing intentions. Similar results have been found in classical music and wine stores, and students at a cafeteria.
Study 3: Effect of music in supermarket
In the 1980s there were a variety of studies conducted at both restaurants and grocery stores to see how music affected spending habits. The studies found that where slower music was played, the customers spent more time in the venue and ended up having higher bills.
The only good thing here was restaurant goers tended to eat less if music played was slower.
Study 4: Music and impulse buys
Maureen Morrin a psychology professor at Rutgers University measured the effects of music on consumers in a shopping mall in Canada over a month. The study found that shoppers who tend more geared towards impulse shopping did so more in the presence of background music.
Further those shoppers tended to spend more than those in the control conditions. The study suggests that music can improve mood leading consumers to spend more.
What can you do to avoid spending more cash?
There probably isn’t much you can do about restaurant visits unless you choose a more lively and upbeat venue-although apparently you will eat more.
If you are grocery shopping you may want to consider taking along your iPod with a playlist of fast tempo and upbeat tunes.
I have not tried this yet but on my next shopping trip I am going to see whether it makes any difference to how much I spend and how long I spend at the supermarket.
Next time you are out give it a go and let us know whether it has any effects on you saving money!