Playing music in your business can positively influence customer behavior. You can bring more people in, make them stay longer, and even convince them to buy more with the music that you play. However, curating a playlist doesn’t always come naturally. Follow these six steps to create amazing playlists that your customers will love.

1. Avoid Generic Top-40 Playlists and Hits

The first step to creating a music playlist is to give up the idea that you can easily play whatever is on the radio and expect customers to notice or care. The goal of curating a playlist is to select songs that your customers will like and relate to your brand.

Your customers make decisions about your brand with their ears, and each song reflects your choices as much as your product offerings.  

For example, one study on background music found that customers at a wine shop selected more expensive merchandise when the owners played classical music instead of top-40 hits. The music played on the desires of customers (to be high-class wine connoisseurs) and convinced them to take action toward what they desired.

This isn’t to say that top-40 hits are entirely off the table. Those songs might be right for your brand and customers. However, you should still directly curate songs from top-40 playlists instead of expecting customers to respond to whatever pop hit or country ballad is popular today.  

2. Make Sure You Can Legally Play Your Music

It may be tempting to set up a radio or plug in your phone’s Spotify playlist to add music to your store, but that short-term solution could have expensive, long-term consequences.

Earlier this year, we reported that 28 businesses in the Tampa Bay Area faced lawsuits for playing overhead music publicly without a license. Fines ranged from $10,200 to $62,501 and some businesses even shut down because of the fines.

The cost of unexpected fines and legal fees isn’t worth it compared to the ease of finding an affordable licensing company to sell you music.

Plus, when you work with Spectrio to create music playlists, you don’t have to work with licensing companies to legally play music. We take care of that for you, so you just have to worry about curating the best songs that your customers will love.   

3. Consider How Your Customer Base Changes Throughout the Day

Look at your target personas and think about how and when they visit your business.

Do your demographics change during the day? Do people have different behaviors and needs as the afternoon wears on?

You may find that different demographics have different music needs. For example, a restaurant might cater to an older audience during lunch and mid-afternoon hours. These people want to talk quietly with each other and will stay longer in a comfortable environment. However, in the afternoon, the restaurant would change its music to louder, more upbeat music to accommodate younger diners who want to drink and relax after work with friends.

Customer demographics and their needs only make up a few of the key questions to consider when developing an on-premise music playlist for your target audience. You also need to think about their interests and psychographics to create a playlist that will truly resonate with your top customers.  

4. Look for Unique Artists and Bands

One of the benefits of using a service like Spectrio for on-premise music is that you have access to millions of songs that you can legally add to your shopping music playlist. Not only does breaking out of the top-40 playlist open up your brand to new genres, but it also gives you the freedom to get to know new artists and unique bands.

Try to explore different music types and musicians to see if you like their music.

Not only are you helping less-known artists get discovered, you are branding yourself as a unique place for shoppers to visit.

See how your customers react to the music and make a note of particular bands or genres that they like.

Starbucks does a good job of curating new artists and building music into their brand. They even have Spotify lists so customers can take the feelings from the store with them after they leave. Music becomes part of the coffee experience, which enhances the overall brand for customers.

5. Curate a Cohesive, Smooth Playlist

If you ever created the perfect mixtape or mix CDs during your teenage years, then you can understand the importance of creating the perfect playlists. You can’t just add a bunch of songs and hope they go well together. You need to blend different artists, songs, and styles together.

Creating a music playlist is a little different from creating a mixtape for your prom date. You want to make sure that the songs go together and blend smoothly. An uptempo song that is jarring and loud after a slower song can surprise customers and make them feel uncomfortable. Similarly, an unexpected slow song can change the shopping experience entirely.

Keep these aspects in mind when you add different songs to your playlists, and consider creating multiple playlists to select throughout the month.  

6. Test Different Shopping Music Playlists

You don’t have to create a perfect playlist the first time around. While your customers might respond to the music positively, keep creating new playlists to see what your shoppers like and don’t like.

Typically, most brands change playlists each month. This allows them to choose songs related to the season (like upbeat songs around summer) and keep the music fresh. You can also create multiple playlists throughout the month to see which ones drive the best results.

While your customers might not immediately notice your shopping music playlist, they will start to appreciate your music choices.

Bring a Custom Music Playlist to Your Business

Stop using ineffective music playlists that don’t motivate or connect with your customers. Find out how you can begin to create custom playlists that resonate with your target customers, reinforce your brand, protect you from liability, and encourage shoppers to take action.