Walking into a vape shop is a sensory experience. The lights are bright, the shelves are stacked with sleek products, and the faint whiff of the goods you're selling may fill the air. Matching that scent to the sounds you're piping through the store's sound system could be crucial.
In research explained by Psychologist World, a deep connection has been found between the scent consumers inhale and the sounds they hear. This research was conducted during the holiday season. When consumers were exposed to Christmas scents with no holiday music, it seemed annoying. When holiday music and holiday scents were combined, it all seemed clear.
Research like this demonstrates the importance of matching your music and playlists to the experience you deliver in your shop. Here's how to make that happen.
What Happens in a Vape Shop?
In order to determine what music you should play, you'll need to think about what consumers will do while they're inside your shop. Some of the activities they tackle have little or nothing to do with buying a product.
For example, in a study in the journal BMC Public Health, researchers found that 90 percent of vape shop staffers said customers asked for advice on quitting smoking. These consumers are there to buy, but they're also asking for counseling and support. In a way, the shop functions a little like a support group.
Imagine if your shop played death metal music. Would your shoppers feel more comfortable talking with you? Or would that turn off your customers?
The products you sell also play a role. Your shop may sell only vape products, or you may sell:
- Glass pipes for marijuana.
- Marijuana products.
- Other types of drugs, like salvia.
- Edible marijuana products.
An editorial published in the industry journal Smoke and Vape Magazine suggests that traditional vape shops are "one-trick ponies" that do one thing well, but may not be able to compete with convenience stores, big-box stores, and other retail outlets that also sell vaping products. To stay competitive, the vape shop may need to do more. When it does, that can introduce a very different vibe into the shop.
Successful marijuana dispensaries may use playlists that are heavy on reggae, and they may feature songs that discuss marijuana legalization. If you also sell marijuana products, this could be a good shift for you. If you don't, this could be a disconcerting choice for your consumers. They may walk in and feel as though they're in the wrong store.
Finding the Right Music Playlist
"Testing may help you hit on a perfect formula. Choose a set list and keep it on rotation for a week and watch reactions, including sales."
Authors writing for BMJ suggest that there are 3,500 independent vape shops across the United States. This is a huge number, and it's unlikely that every shop is the same. There are differences based on geography, price point, products sold, and ideal customer base. Any or all of these factors could influence the choices in music a business owner might make.
Similarly, it's very difficult for vape users to speak as a bloc. Some use vapes to substitute for cigarettes. Others use them before using any tobacco product. It's no wonder that choosing music for this group is difficult. They have diverse tastes.
On Reddit, a man asked his audience to tell him what type of music he should play in his vape shop. Readers told him to play heavy metal, instrumental hip hop, or classic jazz. Other readers told him never to play metal and to stick with classical music.
Testing may help you hit on a perfect formula. Choose a playlist and keep it on rotation for a week. Watch reactions, including sales. Then switch the list and see if things improve or decline. In time, you'll know just what your shoppers want.
1. Hip Hop: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4YettYy6ssJeQixZgmeG0t?si=SDG70zr2SFulNIRCn-X7bg
Song: Ballin' (with Roddy Ricch)
Artist(s): Mustard, Roddy Richh
Song: How I Move (feat. Lil Baby)
Artist(s): Flipp Dinero, Lil Baby
Song: Life is Good (feat. Drake)
Artist(s): Future, Drake
Song: Make No Sense
Artist(s): YoungBoy Never Broke Again
Song: Own It (feat. Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy)
Artist(s): Stormzy, Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran
Song: Shake The Room (feat. Quavo)
Artist(s): Pop Smoke, Quavo
Song: TOES (feat. Lil Baby & Moneybagg Yo)
Artist(s): DaBaby, Lil Baby, Moneybagg Yo
Song: Big Boy Diamonds (feat. Kodak Black & London on Da Track)
Artist(s): Gucci Mane, Kodak Black, London on Da Track
Song: Hot Shower
Artist(s): Chance the Rapper, MadeinTYO, DaBaby
2. Jazz: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/66xP1ECtWDGOR1VETDnYhL?si=Eh3GXJdaSWqr-8l-VYwvAQ
Song: Blue in Green
Artist(s): Miles Davis
Song: Cantaloupe Island - Remastered 1999 / Rudy Van Gelder Edition
Artist(s): Herbie Hancock
Song: Dat Dere
Artist(s): Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
Song: Dig Dis - Remastered 1999/Rudy Van Gelder Edition
Artist(s): Hank Mobley
Song: In Your Own Sweet Way
Artist(s): Miles Davis Quintet
Song: Flamenco Sketches
Artist(s): Miles Davis
Song: Cheese Cake - Remastered 1999/Rudy Van Gelder Edition
Artist(s): Dexter Gordon
Song: Ruby, My Dear
Artist(s): Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane
Song: Airegin - RVG Remaster
Artist(s): Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Percy Heath, Kenny Clarke
Song: Speak No Evil
Artist(s): Wayne Shorter
3. Rock/Metal: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0lF0Y9ySKnf95JKQucRLa8?si=GI6ZG1ESThqHiFYinVkwcA
Song: Unholy Confessions
Artist(s): Avenged Sevenfold
Song: The Diary of Jane - Single Version
Artist(s): Breaking Benjamin
Song: My Own Summer (Shove It)
Song: Immigrant Song - Remaster
Artist(s): Led Zeppelin
Song: Wrathchild - 2015 Remaster
Artist(s): Iron Maiden
Song: Sad But True
Artist(s): Black Label Society
Song: Chop Suey!
Artist(s): System Of A Down
Song: Cowboys from Hell
Song: Armed And Dangerous
What to Do Next
You can't turn on the music without jumping through a few hoops. Most pieces of recorded music are protected by performing rights organizations (PROs), says entrepreneur.com, and those PROs are charged with collecting royalties on behalf of copyright holders.
Playing music without a license to do so could mean paying fines to those PROs. You may also have to pay a lawyer to defend you.
Working with an organization like Cloud Cover Music is smart. We've secured agreements with all the major PROs, and our library is vast. We can help you get set up in minutes, and our prices are remarkably low. Contact us to find out more.
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- The Subliminal Influence of Ambient Music on Shoppers. Psychologist World.
- Vape Shops: Who Uses Them and What Do They Do? (April 2018). BMC Public Health.
- Vape Shops and E-cigarette Lounges Open Across the USA to Promote ENDS. (July 2015). BMJ.
- When You Walk Into a Vape Shop, What Type of Music Do You Want to Hear? Reddit.
- What You Need to Know About Music Licensing for Your Business. (March 2013). entrepreneur.com