Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

It's All in the Mix: The Interactive Effect of Music Tempo and Mode on In-Store-Sales

Knoeferle, Klemens M.
Spangenberg, Eric R.
Herrmann, Andreas
Volume: 23
Number: 1
Pages: 325 - 337
Month: March
ISSN-Print: 0923-0645
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2012
Keywords: Retail atmospherics; Musical tempo; Musical mode; Linear mixed models

Though practitioners have relied on tempo as a criterion to design in-store music, scant attention has been devoted to the mode of musical selections, and no consideration has been given to the potential for the interactive effects of low-level structural elements of music on actual retail sales. The current research reports a field experiment wherein the positive main effect of slow tempo on actual sales reported by Milliman (J Marketing 46 (3):86–91, 1982, J Cons Res 13 (2):286–289, 1986) is qualified by musical mode. A significant interaction between tempo and mode was evidenced, such that music in a major mode did not vary in effectiveness by tempo while music in a minor mode was significantly more effective when accompanied by a slow tempo. That is, the Milliman effect was eliminated for music in a major mode. Implications of our findings and directions for further research are discussed.