Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Society

The Impact of Background Music on the Duration of Consumer Stay at Stores: An Empirical Study in Malaysia

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Society

The Impact of Background Music on the Duration of Consumer Stay at Stores: An Empirical Study in Malaysia

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Consumers spend more time shopping and expect value-added options like background melodious songs, ample car parking, good ambience, prayer halls and rest rooms. The main concern is whether these facilities prolong consumers stay in the store and increase business sales. This research article is about the relationship between the background music tempo and the duration of consumers' stay in the stores. Data from 177 respondents were received and analyzed. The results show that the tempo of music is significantly affecting the emotional state of the consumers; fast tempo music increasing the pleasure and arousal levels. Slow tempo music has consumers stay longer in restaurants and supermarkets. However, the tempo of music does not play a significant role in manipulating the duration consumers spend in a book store and apparel shop.

Keywords: Background Music; Arousal; Consumer Behavior; Shopping Experience; StimulusOrganism-Response (S-O-R) Model.

1. INTRODUCTION

In the last twenty years, studies concerning the effects of music genre, tempo and rhythm on consumer behavior have increased. Researchers have used different music genres, tempos and rhythms as background music to study consumer behavior. These studies show consumers associate types of music with certain products and making choice of a product over another, or with particular spending patterns and determining the spending on the same type of product. Milliman (1986) found fast tempo background music significantly influence consumer behavior in restaurants. North & Hargreaves (2008) found music and song lyrics could affect human behavior. In 1993, Areni & Kim studied consumer behavior in wine purchasing. They compared the effect of classical music with Top Forty background music on consumer behavior and concluded classical music causes consumers choose more expensive wine products. Yalch and Spangenberg (1993) found classical music evokes purchasing higher priced merchandise. However, not all kinds of background music affect consumer behavior. Only when melodies/ music and love songs are played in florist help sales; pop music does not (Guéguen & Jacob, 2010). In "Musical Fit and Willingness to Pay for Utilitarian Products among University Students", participants were indifferent to purchasing utilitarian products regardless of the type of music or no music at all (Yeoh, 2010). When slow tempo background music is played consumers shop longer and spend more (Milliman, 1982). Patrons at the restaurant are willing to wait for a longer time with slow tempo music (Milliman, 1986). Nicholls (1997) found that the Hispanics who spend more time in the mall consuming food or beverage and would also purchase other products. Therefore by lengthening the time consumers stay in a certain shop would create more business opportunities. The type of background music played in the shop influences consumers' emotions (Ding & Lin, 2012; Kim, Kim & Lennon, 2009). Sherman, Mathur, & Smith (1997) found the relationships between emotional state and duration of consumer stay in the store and spending significant. Increase in spending increases GDP growth. Much research on the effect of background music on a purchasing decision were done and the results are significant (Areni & Kim, 1993; Milliman, 1982). Yet, there has been little research on duration of consumer stay in shops. Therefore, this study on the effect of background music on duration of consumer stay in shops in Malaysia is timely. This study examines the relationship of background music (slow tempo and fast tempo) with the duration of consumer stay in shops. This research seeks to find answers to the following questions:

i. Does the tempo of music influence the emotions of the consumer?

ii. Does the tempo of music affect the duration of consumer stay in a shop?

iii. Do consumers' emotions influence their duration of stay in a shop?

The results of this study would provide a useful framework on the influence of background music on consumer behavior for future researchers or academicians. …

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