Classical music makes you buy more expensive clothes, research shows

5 December 2018, 17:27 | Updated: 5 December 2018, 17:32

Shoppers assume that stores playing classical music will sell high-end products
Shoppers assume that stores playing classical music will sell high-end products. Picture: Getty Images

By Sofia Rizzi

Research has shown that listening to classical music while shopping can spur us on to spend more money.

Swedish researcher Pernille Andersson has revealed that listening to different types of music while shopping encourages different spending habits.

Various factors including smell, appearance and sound all subconsciously influence us when we shop.

What music encourages us to buy more?

Background ambient music called 'Muzak' is played in many shops as it is believed to lull customers into buying things they don't need.

Andersson notes that other styles of music can also encourage a consumer to loosen their purse strings.

What happens when we listen to classical music while shopping?

According to Andersson, we often subconsciously associate classical music with the finer things in life. People naturally assume that a shop playing classical music sells high quality products.

Many high street stores play contemporary music to associate themselves with a more 'hip' crowd. However, this might not be the best method to encourage shoppers to buy: Andersson says that fast-paced music makes us move quickly through the store.

Classical music reminds shoppers of the 'finer things in life'
Classical music reminds shoppers of the 'finer things in life'. Picture: PA Images

What are the other factors involved?

Andersson argues that one of the most crucial elements that influence how we spend our money is the tempo of the music.

Up-tempo music makes customers eat faster, for example. So restaurants might play fast music so they can serve as many customers as possible.

By contrast, she says, slower music relaxes the customer into taking their time at the table – but might encourage them to linger over the meal and hang around for dessert.