Should sound be part of the e-commerce experience?
Researchers at Goldsmiths University, London, have produced research that enabled eBay U.K. to celebrate its fifteenth anniversary with a "piece of music that uses sounds scientifically proven to help people make better shopping decisions," according to the Daily Telegraph.
Techtimes explained that, "Approximately 2000 participants browsed through an online store that featured a blender, wine, a board game, trainers and a barbecue. Researchers measured their perceptions of value, quality and emotional responses as the participants listened to different sounds."
The research guiding the track, entitled "Sound of Shopping," focused on background sounds commonly found in everyday life. EBay said the research discovered which sounds "have been proven to make shoppers think more rationally about what they are buying, reduce bad purchasing choices and help shoppers spot a bargain."
Among those listed as "good sounds" that helped people shop better were:
Pop music: Makes people feel good without getting "suckered" into bad deals. Less than a third (30.1 percent) made a bad purchasing decision while listening to pop music.
Football (soccer) commentary: Shoppers scored an average of four out of five for rational decision-making when listening to football commentary.
Air conditioner: A sound not associated with quality or luxury, that helps people judge value better.
Birds singing or lawnmowers: The sounds you hear sitting outdoors while shopping online make you more likely to buy outdoor products. People hearing birds singing were found to be 2.4 percent more likely to buy a barbecue than normal.
On the negative side, according to the research, "bad sounds" for shopping included:
Classical music: Makes people overate a product’s quality by 5 percent.
Restaurant buzz: Another sound associated with quality that encourages people to pay more than they otherwise might.
Baby crying/traffic: Puts shoppers in a bad mood, skewing how they assess value and quality.
Patrick Fagan, consumer behavior expert at Goldsmiths University, observed in a statement, "Any wine store owner will tell you that playing French music increases sales of French wine, but there is almost no research looking at this phenomenon online."
- eBay release "Sound of Shopping" track – eBay U.K.
- Perfect shopping soundtrack revealed by scientists – Telegraph
- Shopping online to the perfect soundtrack can save you from overspending – TechTimes
What insights does the eBay U.K. study offer around sounds and shopping? Should sound be a much larger component of online shopping?