Here’s How to Make Your Background Music Work for You

Here at Background Sounds, we’re all about creating the perfect background music. This has meant a lot of research into what makes great background music. Most importantly, understanding what aspects of music influence customer behaviour.

84% of consumers say that their shopping experience is better when music is playing*

So we thought we would share our top 5 tips on how to select great background music for your business. Whether you own a shop, restaurant, coffee shop, cafe or hair salon. You can use this guide to get the most from your background music.


Background music top tips

Background Music Top Tips. The Detail

1. Genre – match your music to your brand

How well a customer thinks your background music fits your business has been shown to affect how long they shop. The longer they spend shopping the more likely they are to spend.

Your customers need to feel instantly at ease and a big part of achieving that is being consistent. If your background music does not match your brand customers feel unsettled they’re more likely to leave.

Top Tip: Here’s how to match your background music to your brand in three easy steps.

Step 1. Write down all the words you would use to describe your brand. E.g. cheerful, fun, relaxed, young, expensive, exclusive.

Step 2. You can then match this list to music genres that you would describe in the same way e.g. pop (mid-tempo) is fun and cheerful. Classical music is usually described as elegant and high-class.

Step 3. Build your playlist based on a mix of the genres you have listed. Keep it under review for a little while too.

2. Volume – give it attention

The volume of your background music is a key factor in how your customers will react. Too loud and they will leave.

A good rule of thumb is that your music should be loud enough to notice but low enough that customers can hold a conversation. Without raising their voices. The ideal volume is around 40 decibels.

For guidance, a washing machine on a spin cycle is around 70 decibels. To be precise we recommend using a decibel checker. Available for free as an app on both iPhone and Android devices.

Top Tip. Before opening up, spend two minutes walking around your business to check what your audio experience is. Poor speaker placement can result in volume hot spots. This can make shopping uncomfortable for your customers as they browse. A quick volume change or speaker move can make all the difference!

3. Tempo – set the right pace

Tempo (how fast the beat of your music is) can influence the speed your customers move. So it’s important to think about how long you want your customers to spend with you.

If you want them to linger and take their time, which can increase shopper spending. You want to ensure your music has a low tempo. This will relax them, put them at ease and reduce the speed they move.

If you want your customers in and out quickly, for a fast table turnover. Then a higher tempo will help you achieve this.

4. Add Variety – reflect customer mood

Do you notice a shift in your customer’s attitude or demeanour on different days of the week? Are they more relaxed on a weekend? Jump on this and switch up your background music.

Having 2-3 playlists ready makes it easy to vary your background music across the week. Having a softer, gentler playlist on a Monday morning. Then a lively, upbeat set of tunes for a weekend to reflect the mood of your customers when they’re off work.

5. Keep it Fresh – motivate with music

Music is a huge motivator. Use your background music to boost your employee’s mood and motivation levels. This is likely to lead to better teamwork! (source) Improving your customer’s experience and creating a positive shopping environment.

In a recent study by Sounds Like Branding. 66% of employees rated music played at work as positively or very positively affecting their well-being.

About Background Sounds

Background Sounds is a specialist provider of royalty free music. Working with small businesses looking to play music without the need to buy a PRS PPL Music Licence.

The service is offered via online streaming and can be accessed when you take a subscription. You can find out all you need to know on our home page here.