The 2023 guide to festive music in retail

  • November 30th, 2023 at 12:43 pm

  • Your festive playlist can boost your KPIs.
  • Delight both customers and staff with holiday cheer
  • Ensure your store is licensed to play music
  • The songs you choose, timing and ratio can be curated for optimum results

There’s talk of elves checking if children are being naughty or nice, decorations are popping up around town, and Mariah Carey is defrosting.

An overwhelming time of year with all that is to be prepared, the last thing you might be thinking is what will be on this year’s Christmas playlist.

How you curate your carols is something that can make or break your busiest season’s bottom line, and your customer’s experience.

Santa will visit you if you’ve been a good music citizen. You need permission to play Christmas carols or any music in your business, and OneMusic offers an easy music licence solution.

You still need a music licence when you have a music streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music in your business. Check the terms and conditions of your Spotify agreement. There is important information in there about using the service in a commercial setting like a shop or cafe.

When it comes to content, consider what festive music matches your brand and style. You don’t have to lose this just because it’s the holidays. There are hundreds of years’ worth of music to choose from – whether you have an upscale boutique that would suit traditional carols by instrumental piano, or a kids’ store with something more whimsical. The choices are endless!

There is no rule that says you must only play Christmas music either. Ideally, a 60:40 split is what keeps everyone the happiest. Don’t alienate your customers and over-do it. A good rule is to throw in something festive every third song.

Studies show that most people aren’t ready to shop for Christmas until December 1. Premature Christmas music can stress them out if they aren’t ready to think about it yet! Start your festive playlist too early and customers may be sick of it come mid-December.

Think about your staff and their mental health – the same playlist on repeat every day for a month can be grating. A UK psychologist says there is a drop in productivity for holiday retail workers forced to hear the same songs on repeat. Ensure some variety – mix it up and have fun with it!

Your holiday playlist is the icing on your gingerbread house. Maximise the use of music in your store with further tips.

In summary, Top tips:

  • Ensure you have a licence to play music in your store.
  • Make your playlists a 60:40 ratio between regular music and festive music
  • Don’t start earlier than Dec 1
  • Think about your staff and their mental health