Daunfeldt, S.-O., Moradi, J., Rudholm, N., Öberg, C. (2021). Effects of employees’ opportunities to influence in-store music on sales: Evidence from a field experiment. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 59.

Abstract:

The effects of in-store music on consumer behavior have attracted much attention in the marketing literature, but surprisingly few studies have investigated in-store music in relation to employees. By conducting a field experiment in eight Filippa K fashion stores in Stockholm, Sweden, we investigate whether it is beneficial for store owners to give employees more opportunities to influence the in-store music. We randomly assigned the stores into a treatment group and a control group, with the employees in the treatment stores having the opportunity to influence the in-store music through an app developed by Soundtrack Your Brand (SYB). The experiment lasted 56 weeks and sales data were also gathered 22 weeks before the experiment, resulting in a total of 4626 observations. Our results show that sales decreased by 6% when the employees had the opportunity to influence the music played in the store, and the effect is driven by a reduction in sales of women’s clothing. Interviews with the employees revealed that they had diverse music preferences, frequently changed songs, and preferred to play high-intensity songs. Employees thus seem to make choices regarding the in-store music that reduce sales, implying that store owners might want to limit their opportunities to influence the background music.