The vast majority of shoppers (73%) do not want to hear festive songs in stores before December, according to a study released today by the world’s largest in-store media specialist, Mood Media Corporation (TSX:MM/ LSE AIM:MM).

The study’s findings, which come as many stores roll out their festive decorations and songs, also highlight Christmas tunes rarely put shoppers in the mood to buy presents: over 3 in 5 of those surveyed online by YouGov1 at 61% said hearing Christmas music in a shop does not make them think of buying gifts.

However, almost three quarters (74%) of consumers aged 18 to 44 say they like hearing in-store music while they shop, while almost two thirds (64%) say they would browse for longer if they enjoyed the atmosphere in a store.

Vanessa Walmsley, SVP of Corporate Marketing for Mood Media Corporation, said: ‘The message is clear for retailers looking for ways to keep shoppers in-store for longer: instead of using festive tunes just because the Christmas shopping season is about to begin, they can tailor their in-store music to the tastes of their particular customer demographic.

‘If customers actually like the tracks played in stores, they will stay longer and the chances of making a sale increases2. As official figures show recent slower sales growth on the High Street, retailers need to be more creative with how they put their customers in the mood to spend this Christmas.’

Shoppers were also asked to rank the following important factors in creating a comfortable in-store atmosphere: music; visuals, such as screens or TVs; or in-store fragrances or ‘scents’. Over two-fifths of 18-44 year-olds (42%) stated audio was most important, but those aged over 44 opted for in-store ‘scents’ (50%).

Mood Media Corporation’s consultancy division works with retailers to increase customer footfall by using cutting-edge audio, visual or scent solutions – or integrating all three ‘sensorial’ media solutions – to raise customer awareness of their brand. Its audio solutions can range from customised playlists from its library of 1.8m rights-included tracks, through to visual solutions such as touch-screens and video walls.
The company works with retailers to analyse their customer demographic, so music can be played at different times of the day to suit the tastes of customers at any given time.

It also has a range of up to 26 in-store scents; for example, ‘Christmas tree’ evokes the holiday season through the invigorating smell of an authentic white pine and birch tree, which Mood Media Corporation spreads subtly throughout the store through a unique ‘nebulisation’ process.

Lorne Abony, CEO of Mood Media Corporation, said: ‘We are the only company in the world to offer these three integrated solutions in one service. Our clients are ahead of the curve as they know how to provide the right environment for their customers.’

The right kind of Christmas songs still hit the right note with shoppers, however: 59% of respondents said Christmas songs really add to their Christmas cheer, while Bing Crosby’s White Christmas was particularly popular among those surveyed, with around 10% naming it as their favourite Christmas tune.