Report • 28.10.2015

What we hear is what we feel: Guiding the buying decision process sensibly

Interview with Professor Monika Imschloß, University of Cologne

Psychologist Prof. Dr. Monika Imschloß  researches for example the  the...
Psychologist Prof. Dr. Monika Imschloß researches for example the the subconscious influence of music.
Source: privat
For retailers, these insights could mean brand-new kinds of targeted sales promotion at the POS: our perception on how things feel to us can change depending on what type of music we listen to. Psychologist Professor Monika Imschloß of the University of Cologne discusses the findings of her study with us.

We have always known that music can affect us emotionally. However, we probably didn’t know that it can make a towel feel softer. But it’s true. Professor Imschloß, how did you find out about this?

We let students feel textiles while they listened to music with headphones. They didn’t know this was also about the impact of music and not about getting otherwise distracted from other sounds. We discovered that they rated products as softer when they listened to softer music and vice versa with hard music.

How do you differentiate soft and hard music?

We have conducted interviews to find out what people perceive as soft and hard music. Time and time again they subsequently mentioned similar parameters on how this would sound to them. For example, they perceived soft string instruments with few rhythm changes and smooth transitions as “soft”. Music with lots of percussion instruments, hard transitions and frequent rhythm changes appeared “hard”. The study participants also sang, hissed and hummed related sounds to demonstrate their perception of the terms.

This distinction between soft and hard doesn’t just apply to hearing but also to the haptic perception, the process of recognizing objects through touch?

Yes, that’ correct. In the second step, the terms were transferred to haptics. What materials do people envision when they are asked to describe soft music? Here, people mentioned examples like fine sand for soft music and coarse sand for hard music. Haptics and music can be described with similar terms.

You were able to gain some interesting insights with this knowledge ...

Yes, even as a scientist I was surprised that music actually has this kind of impact on our haptic perception. For retailers, this can result in new ways to influence the buying decision in the store.

How is that?

Test persons actually perceived textiles as softer and of greater quality under the subconscious influence of music. It also increased their willingness to pay more for a product.

The participants of the study rated products as softer when they listened to...
The participants of the study rated products as softer when they listened to softer music.
Source: FotoHiero /pixelio.de
Do retailers actually know about these properties of music?

No, most of them are not aware of this. In most stores, music is used in a more intuitive manner, though retailers wonder if customers feel comfortable in their stores with this music. They also understand that studies show how German music, for instance, promotes the purchase of German merchandise or Italian sounds benefit the purchase of Italian products. There are companies that create entire playlists for stores that are then also available online. However, the primary focus here is on branding.

This type of music in the store is rather obvious and the listener is very conscious of it. The relationship between music and haptics can result in a far more subtle effect. What do retailers need to consider here?

Once the listener is made aware that the music is supposed to influence him/her, the effect goes away. This is something we also discovered in the experiments. The music should therefore not be too striking. A good way to find out what type of music works for my store is to simply try things out and ask the employees. After all, they are the ones that have to listen to the music all day long. Irritated associates are bad for business.

Those who are not just listening to their intuition but factor in the cultural listening habits of their target audience and include the effect on merchandise have an effective marketing tool.

Your study also established a link to online shopping. So far I have not come across an online store where I hear music. Is that still a gap in the market?

Even though we actually noticed in our study that music can also impact the haptic perception of a product online, I would not recommend its use in an online store. Here, consumers want to process information and music would be disruptive. Some retailers have already attempted this without success. eBay is among them. I see the use of these research findings more in the area of actual retail environments.

Retailers can learn a lesson on the skilled use of multisensory resources from industries like hotels and service sectors in banks – like the Commerzbank flagship store in Berlin for example.

Interview: Natascha Mörs; iXtenso.com

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Retail problems: We’ve got the premises but where are the customers?...
04.11.2019   #customer satisfaction #pos marketing

Retail problems: We’ve got the premises but where are the customers?

The Trendforum Retail 2019 highlighted multi-use retail developments

At the Trendforum Retail on October 9 &10, 2019, in Schwalbach near Frankfurt am Main, speakers and visitors examined how brick and mortar retailers can attract, keep and excite customers.Interested event participants were given a tour by Marcus ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Five retailers are opening stores for every retailer closing stores...
28.08.2019   #retail #brick and mortar retail

Five retailers are opening stores for every retailer closing stores

New report by IHL Group debunks the retail apocalypse narrative

More than five retail chains are opening stores for every retailer that is closing stores in 2019, according to new research from IHL Group. This is up from 3.7 in 2018. The company also reports that the number of chains adding stores in 2019 has ...

Thumbnail-Photo: A pearl among commodities: encouraging impulse buys...
11.09.2019   #pos marketing #customer analysis

A pearl among commodities: encouraging impulse buys

How to make the most of wait times

It’s wonderful if customers come to retail stores to buy things. It’s fantastic if they buy more than they planned to purchase. This offers many opportunities, especially for brick and mortar retailers as surveys show: customers are more ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 90+ year-old manufacturer redesigns its stores …...
19.09.2019   #consulting #customer satisfaction

90+ year-old manufacturer redesigns its stores …

… making window and door shopping easier, more personalized and enjoyable

Each year we hear about the increase in online sales, and the talk of the demise of brick-and-mortar stores. But, brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going anywhere – if they adapt. And Pella Windows & Doors is adapting.Rather than ...

Thumbnail-Photo: AllFacebook Marketing Conference 2020
11.12.2019   #marketing planing #event

AllFacebook Marketing Conference 2020

The Social Media Marketing Conference will take place in March 2020 in Munich

3 days, 4 stages, more than 40 speakers, 1000+ participants and 100% social media marketing for companies. At the AllFacebook Marketing Conference from March 17 to 19, 2020 in Munich, Germany, industry participants will meet, exchange ideas and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Distract or divert!
10.09.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer relationship management

Distract or divert!

How to engage customers at the checkout

Retailers and retail designers spend a considerable amount of time discussing and juggling a crucial aspect of the customer experience at the point of purchase: the checkout.To be fair, it’s not easy to turn the moment when customers have to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Sensory experiences increase in-store sales
29.11.2019   #digital signage #pos marketing

Sensory experiences increase in-store sales

New Research from Mood Media confirms that sensory marketing has a positive emotional, cognitive and behavioral impact on shoppers

Mood Media, the world’s leading in-store media solutions company dedicated to elevating the Customer Experience, today released a new quantitative behavioral marketing study, “Quantifying the Impact of Sensory Marketing,” which ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Video: How loadbee works
24.09.2019   #online trading #online marketing

Video: How loadbee works

Platform for distributing product information

It is important for retailers to have the right sales-promoting content for each customer. That exact content traders will receive with the industry-wide loadbee platform for retailers and manufacturers from B2C and B2B from their suppliers directly ...

Thumbnail-Photo: DJ, play me a song while I shop!
18.11.2019   #brick and mortar retail #in-store marketing

DJ, play me a song while I shop!

Can music increase sales volume? Retail store music playlists generated in real-time make it possible

How do you select the right music and ad spots for your retail store to play at just the right time? Do you have an employee who visits every store armed with a USB stick and downloads ready-made playlists to the respective equipment?Are there ...

Thumbnail-Photo: “What do you have that nobody else has?”...
16.09.2019   #data management #digital marketing

“What do you have that nobody else has?”

Exhibitor statements from the halls of DMEXCO 2019 on marketing trends and technology

We from iXtenso were visiting DMEXCO 2019 and looked around for the latest opportunities and technologies for marketers. We asked some companies what makes their solution unique – here are some answers. ...

Supplier

HappyOrNot
HappyOrNot
Innere Kanalstraße 15
50823 Köln
VKF Renzel GmbH
VKF Renzel GmbH
Im Geer 15
46419 Isselburg
loadbee GmbH
loadbee GmbH
Nikolaus-Otto-Straße 13
70771 Leinfelden-Echterdingen
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Mood Media GmbH
Mood Media GmbH
Wandalenweg 30
20097 Hamburg
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen