In-store music can increase consumers’ grocery spending by 10% or more

By our News Team | 2023

But researchers find that this only applies from Monday to Thursday, when shoppers are tired after a long day at work.

Consumers who grocery shop from Monday to Thursday can expect in-store music to swell their shopping bill by more than 10 percent. This is according to new research from the University of Bath’s School of Management in the UK.

Weekday supermarket shoppers tend to be mentally tired from their working day and ‘pleasant’ music played in-store lifts their mood, making their decision-making on shopping items more intuitive, the research team found.

Retail Strategy

Photo by Jack Sparrow from Pexels

With less scrutiny of purchases, people buy more products, treating themselves to additional items, or upgrade the quality of planned purchases.

By Friday, as they head into the weekend, consumers are already feeling less depleted and consequently music loses its power. People have more time; they feel more relaxed and, in turn, happier. The way they process information and make decisions on purchases changes, and music no longer impacts on shopping spend.

Traditional working week is ingrained in society

The traditional Monday to Friday work week is so ingrained in society that the effect is seen even for people on a different work pattern, as well as for retired people, researchers say.

“During the week people are short of time and many get their grocery shopping done after a full day at work,” explains Dr Carl-Philip Ahlbom.

“Pleasant music appears to have a mentally soothing effect, which impacts the way people shop. At the weekend people are essentially happier, and so the positive power of music is less noticeable. In fact, playing music at the weekend may even mean people buy less, possibly because it’s an additional stressor in an already busy environment.”

Adds Professor Jens Nordfält, Co-director of the University’s Retail Lab: “The research points to a clear uplift in sales, with high returns on the relatively modest investments required to install in-store sound systems.

“For retailers this could be an attractive investment to boost weekday marketing. But clearly they will need to look to other techniques to match the effect at the weekend, when consumers are feeling more energised and less susceptible to this particular strand of subconscious marketing.”

‘Understanding how music influences shopping on weekdays and weekends’ is published in the Journal of Marketing Research. You can read more about the research here.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.