When implementing instore music you have to be aware of both the content and the context. I will address the content (the actual music playing) in other posts but let’s look at context for now.
There are in fact multiple types of context we could talk about but for now, I will address the actual space in which the music is let loose, and how it interacts with your music.
I keep stressing the importance of proper acoustics. Most architects do not take acoustics into consideration when designing a space and therefore the result is often unpredictable. A room with poor acoustics will completely mess up the sound of any music you play in it, diminishing the positive effects you were striving for.
Modern buildings often feature a lot of large reflective surfaces, such as panes of glass or concrete. Any sound will bounce around in these spaces, creating a messy and noisy environment. I mentioned this problem before in a post on restaurant noise. Simply adding music to such a space will make for an uncomfortable cocktail of noise rather than an optimized retail environment.
So focus on acoustics when implementing music. Think about a Mondriaan painting. These minimalistic works of art look extremely clean and tight, maximizing their impact. A red square is exactly that, a red square. Mondriaan could only achieve this if he started out with a clean white canvas. The same applies to instore music. If you desire a clean and effective musical backdrop, you have to start out with a clean white canvas; a silent space with pleasant acoustics.
Another important aspect in the context of instore music is the function of a space. If you adjust your music to parts of the space to support their specific goals, you can enhance the impact of your musical strategy.
The counter for instance is a place where communication takes place between customer and employee. It is advisable not to position any speakers directly above it, since they will mask speech and get in the way of proper communication.
As with all my previous posts it is all about awareness. Make your choices based on strategy and well thought out plans. You will gain happy customers who are willing to spend and who are loyal to your brand.