As a retail store owner, you want your customers to enjoy their experience while they shop. There are many things you can do to enhance the time they spend in your store.

Colors can be carefully chosen, spacing between displays can enhance each product, and even the music playing in the background can help them relax, find what they need, find new things they want, and feel great about your brand.

In fact, music is deeply connected to our emotions, so playing music in your storefront can have a huge impact on the experience your customers have in your store and how they perceive your products or services. It can also have an impact on your employees.

Even if you cannot make any changes to the environment around you, background music can help to reduce ambient noise from the outside world and other customers, improve mood, reduce anxiety, and enhance focus — that is, as long as you choose the right music.

Factors to Consider When Choosing  Music for Your Retail or Storefront

Calming music generally helps customers slow down, enjoy browsing, and relax into the retail experience. Faster music with a stronger beat can make them move or eat faster, but their mood may still be improved because they feel energetic. 

Customers reported that in-store music choices did, in fact, impact them: 35 percent reported staying longer, 31 percent reported wanting to go back, 21 percent reported they would recommend the store to a friend, and 14 percent said they would be glad to buy more items.

But what kind of music makes customers do all these things? It depends a lot on genre, tempo, tone, and mode or melody.

Classical music, for example, makes people willing to pay more for luxury items, such as more expensive wines even if they don’t know much about wine. Luxury items like watches are perceived as even more high-end. People in psychological studies report that they would be willing to pay more for these items compared to the items they purchase in silence or while listening to ambient noise or another genre of music.

In stores marked as convenient, fast, or cost-friendly, playing classical music creates a dissonance with the rest of the store. Customers in these situations report feeling negative about that experience.

Loud music causes customers to move faster through the store, but this will not be a pleasant experience for many people. If your store needs fast turnover or people to move more rapidly, consider up-tempo, happy music instead. This kind of music can also improve your employees’ mood and focus, making customer service interactions more pleasant and helpful.

Slow-tempo pop music has been reportedly associated with more impulse purchases, so if your store focuses on novelty items or has a lot of items near the cash register, this may be a good choice for you.

The most recent pop songs, as listed in the Top 40 Charts, can bring in more teenagers and young adults, and encourage them to spend more. Jazz and classic rock, on the other hand, may attract an older demographic. If your store is associated with a specific age group, consider focusing your playlist to their interests.

Tips for Selecting the Best Background Music for Your Store

When putting together a playlist for your retail store, consider these tips:

  • Assess whether the genre fits the profile of your average shopper. The music you choose should enhance the overall ambiance rather than be the focal point.
  • Identify if the music fits the experience. If your store sells self-care products, like bath bombs and neck wraps, relaxing music will work better. If it’s a party supply store, upbeat pop music might work best.
  • Consider how quickly you want customers to linger in your store. For faster turnover, play music with a faster tempo. Slow things down if you’d like them to linger.
  • Try new things. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your playlists and incorporate feedback from customers.  

Cloud Cover Music Can Help You Build Your Retail Brand

The music you play in your retail store sets the tone for your brand. If it doesn’t meld well, your customers will feel disjointed and won’t really know what your brand embodies.

When you work with us at Cloud Cover music, we can help you create the best atmosphere for your customers — one that exemplifies the essence of your retail brand.

We’ll take the time to get to know your retail brand and your core values. This way we can curate music that fits seamlessly with the entire experience you want for your customers.

We can also help you integrate your ads and in-store messaging beautifully with the music you play. With the right integration, your customers will absorb your marketing messaging effortlessly while enjoying the music they hear. This will cause them to stay in your store longer and ultimately purchase more.

The Ultimate Starter Playlist for Retail Establishments

Again, each playlist for each business should be customized. However, here is a playlist to get you started in your retail store: 

  1. ‘Romanze’ Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, 2nd Movement 
  2. ‘Girl from Ipanema’ in its original Brazilian bossa nova
  3. ‘My Favorite Things’ by John Coltrane
  4. ‘Chameleon’ by Herbie Hancock
  5. ‘One O’Clock Jump’ by Count Basie
  6. ‘The Mambo Craze’ by De-Phazz
  7. ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ by Pink Floyd
  8. ‘A Taste of Honey’ by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
  9. ‘Moovin’ ‘N’ Groovin'’ by Duane Eddy
  10. ‘Honky Tonk, Part 1 and 2’ by Bill Doggett
  11. ‘Walk, Don’t Run’ by The Ventures
  12. ‘Right Off’ by Miles Davis
  13. ‘You Know, You Know’ by the Mahavishnu Orchestra
  14. ‘Ain’t It Funky Now’ by James Brown,
  15. ‘Landslide’ by Fleetwood Mac
  16. ‘Mad World’ by Michael Andrews
  17. ‘All Along the Watchtower’ by Jimi Hendrix
  18. ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by Journey
  19. ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin
  20. ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles

This playlist includes several popular, jazz, blues, cover songs, classic rock, and classical music, which can smooth the way to the cash register for your customers. But customize your own playlists to fit your retail brand perfectly. 

Music for Retail Stores FAQs

What is the best place to find music to play in a retail store?

A commercial music streaming service is the easiest way to play music legally in your retail store. You need a public performance license to play music in your store, and a music for business service takes care of that licensing for you.

Can I play music in my retail store?

Yes, you can if you legally license the music. You can’t just plug in your phone and play your personal music streaming account (like Spotify or Pandora). You must have an account that designates you can play the music in a business.

What type of music can increase retail sales?

It depends on the type of products you sell. For example, when classical music is played in a retail establishment, customers tend to think of the products as more sophisticated. As a result, they are willing to pay more for them.

If you want your customers to spend more time in your store, which often leads to spending more money, play slower music. Customers tend to move more slowly and look at products for longer when slower music is played. 


How Background Music Can Make Your Customers Spend More Money. (December 16, 2016). VMSD.

Putting Your Customers in a Buying Mood. (September 2015). Smart Retailer.

How Music Can Affect Shoppers. (December 2017). Spectrio Blog.

Music Genres That Increase In-Store Sales When Played. (May 2017). Zen Merchandiser.