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The effect of stereotypical music on the customer selection of wine in an online environment


Abstract and Figures

The digital transformation of marketing leads to new forms of interaction with consumers. It has been established and well known that auditory stimuli generally affect human behavior. However, in the field of sensory marketing, only limited attention has been paid to the role and effects of audition in online marketing. In this research, we will further explore how sound influences consumer product selection in a digitalized setting. We have designed and performed an experiment in which respondents in a webshop environment were asked to select a bottle of wine from two different countries while hearing stereotypical music samples representing one of these countries. Our conclusion: In an online setting, auditory stimuli strongly influence consumer selection. In the case of constructed preferences, this effect was considerably stronger compared to well-defined preferences. These insights can help to further develop the effective use of sound stimuli in new forms of sensory marketing, such as virtual reality and other digital experiences in the marketing and sales context.
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Corresponding author:
Bart Wernaart | | Department of Business and communication, Fontys University of Applied Sciences,
Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. | Licensee: Luminous Insights, Wyoming, USA.
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons
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Journal of Innovations in Digital Marketing
ISSN: 2765-8341
Vol. 2, No. 2 |
Open Access
Original Article
The effect of stereotypical music on the customer selection of wine in an
online environment
Marlou Damen
| Iris van Hest
| Bart Wernaart*
Department of Business and communication, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Eindhoven, Netherlands
The digital transformation of marketing leads to new forms of interaction with consumers. It
has been established and well known that auditory stimuli generally affect human behavior.
However, in the field of sensory marketing, only limited attention has been paid to the role
and effects of audition in online marketing. In this research, we will further explore how
sound influences consumer product selection in a digitalized setting. We have designed
and performed an experiment in which respondents in a webshop environment were asked
to select a bottle of wine from two different countries while hearing stereotypical music
samples representing one of these countries. Our conclusion: In an online setting, auditory
stimuli strongly influence consumer selection. In the case of constructed preferences, this
effect was considerably stronger compared to well-defined preferences. These insights can
help to further develop the effective use of sound stimuli in new forms of sensory marketing,
such as virtual reality and other digital experiences in the marketing and sales context.
sensory marketing, auditory stimuli, consumer
behavior, product selection, digital transformation
Article History
Received: 2 July 2021
Revised: 20 August 2021
Revised: 15 September 2021
Accepted: 17 September 2021
1. Introduction
The digitalization of our societies leads to considerable changes
in how we connect. This has a major impact on how indus-
tries work, and in particular on how companies interact with cus-
tomers (Mazali, 2018). This digital era is an important driver of new
strategies that companies can use to differentiate themselves and
add meaningful value for their customers (Manzano et al., 2019).
Not surprisingly, digital marketing is an evolved and matured aca-
demic discipline (Rana et al., 2020; Langan et al., 2019). Recent
research points out that the relevance of digital marketing, (e.g.,
through social media) can provide effective, low-cost exposure for
(small) brands (Zhang et al., 2021).Msallati (2021) reveals that
there is a generation difference related to social media ads between
Gen Xers and Zers, and the phenomenon of influencers in online set-
tings is a much-loved topic among many of us (Reinikainen et al.,
2020; Martínez-López et al., 2020; Lou & Yuan, 2019). At the start
of the social media era, these platforms focused mainly on visual
aspects like photos and text; nowadays, other senses start to play
an important role. This recent development also reached the field
of marketing, where the importance of multisensory interaction is
being widely acknowledged (Petit et al., 2019; Spence et al., 2019;
Starostová, 2017; Wiedmann et al., 2018). Some even argue that
there is currently a ‘sensory explosion’ (Hilton, 2015).
In general, we know that online sensory marketing has huge
potential. We also know that audition, in particular, influences
the consumer experience in offline marketing settings, and a
handful of studies indicate that, in online settings, the experiences
of the consumer can also be influenced by sound (Petit et al.,
2019). What has not been explored so far is how auditory stimuli
in particular influence consumer choices in an online shopping
environment. Considering the increasing importance of online
consumer purchases – which since the COVID-19 pandemic could
have created lasting consequences for advertising (Alkasasbeh,
2020; Mouratidis & Papagiannakis, 2021)– this is an important
piece of the puzzle that must be solved. In our research, we explored
the connection between wine and audition in an online setting, to
enrich current knowledge on multisensory marketing.
2. Literature review
2.1. Online sensory marketing and audition
Digitalization has a significant effect on how we study consumer
behavior (Stephen, 2016). Consumer behavior, famously defined
by Hoyer et al. (2016), is the totality of consumer decisions
Journal of Innovations in Digital Marketing (2021) | 29– 37 | Damen et al. (2021)
regarding the acquisition, consumption, and disposition of a
product. One way to influence consumer behavior is through
sensory marketing. Sensory marketing, also known as sensory
advertising, tries to appeal to the consumer’s senses (sensory
appeal) to affect their behavior. Sensation and perception are two
distinct stages of processing the senses. Sensation is processing
the stimulus, while perception is the understanding or awareness
of sensory information (Krishna, 2012). For a long time, sensory
marketing was neglected in marketing literature. As pointed out
before, of the five senses – smell, audition, taste, touch, and
vision – vision dominated marketing practices (Hultén et al.,
2009). However, more recently, all five senses are gaining
increasing attention (Podoshen, 2005). This is mainly because
sensory marketing can potentially overcome the shortcomings
of mass advertising (Joachimsthaler & Aaker, 1997), triggering
individual brain functions that will contribute to establishing a more
personalized relation between companies and consumers (Hultén
et al., 2009). After all, triggering individual (psychological)
characteristics leads to more effective persuasion compared to
generalized mass communication (Matz et al., 2017).
2.2. Online sensory marketing
Although the similarities between online and offline marketing
are legion, research suggests that the most significant inhibitors
of online shopping are the absence of pleasurable experiences,
social interaction, and personal consultation (Barlow et al., 2004).
Sensory marketing can be used to add a new layer to the online
customer experience that can help overcome this gap, for example,
by influencing emotional factors (Doucé & Adams, 2020). These
emotional factors drive the buying behavior of consumers, in some
cases, even more than rational factors do (Chukwu et al., 2019).
While sensory marketing is typically used in offline situations,
multiple studies have proven that sensory marketing can also
be effective in an online environment. However – and perhaps
not surprising – most of these studies are focussed exclusively
on vision (Petit et al., 2019). For example, the favourability
of a website is determined by visuals on the website (Ageeva
et al., 2018). Also, the look and feel of a website can be
determined by color, which influences buying behavior (Goi, 2012).
Interesting research can be found that discusses the role of taste,
smell (Rodríguez, 2020), and touch (Rathee & Rajain, 2019) in
online sensory marketing. An example is of a device that uses
taste and smell is Vocktail. Vocktail is an augmented reality
technology that augments the experience of drinking water through
the electrical stimulation of tastebuds and the manipulation of smell
and color (Kerruish, 2019). Further, it is already possible to send a
smell via a device connected to your phone so that a smell can be
experienced in an online environment (Petit et al., 2015). However,
these are perhaps not the first senses you would think of when
applied in an online environment (Petit et al., 2019). Audition may
have serious potential (Krishna, 2012; Krishna & Schwarz, 2014;
Scott, 2021) but is overlooked in this context.
2.3. Audition and marketing
Several studies have already been done on the topic of audition
in offline marketing contexts. Various relations are explored
between audition and the behavior of the consumer. As to
sound in general, music can influence the consumer’s perception,
judgments, and purchasing behavior in various ways (Spence
et al., 2019). It can also be established that sounds associated
with products can help facilitate the consumer’s visual search for
certain products (Knoeferle et al., 2016) or alter the consumer’s
perception of a product (Spence & Zampini, 2006).Milliman
(1982) already suggested that there is a relationship between the
tempo of music and the time a consumer spends in a store.
Consumers will move faster when they hear fast music during
their visits to a store. In another study, Milliman (1986) indicated
that there is a relationship between hearing slow-tempo music
and the willingness of consumers to spend more money. Other
research provided evidence that background music can influence
actual sales. Areni and Kim (1993) found that consumers are
willing to buy more expensive wine when exposed to classical
music. They concluded that the lifestyle associated with classical
music fits the behavior of buying expensive wine. Further research
shows that background music may change how consumers perceive
a store. A notable example is that music may distract from a
salesperson’s pitch (Chebat et al., 2001). Another study shows that
background music can help recognize the advertisement of a brand
when consumers hear music associated with a special product or
brand (Kellaris et al., 1993). More recent research shows that adding
auditory confirmation leads to more trust in technology interfaces
(e.g., self-checkout kiosks) (Reynolds-Mcilnay & Morrin, 2019).
Furthermore, research performed during multisensory experiential
tasting events indicates that music can modify the wine-drinking
experience, and – if music is congruent with the wine taste – can
have a significant effect on the perceived acidity and fruitiness of
the wines (Wang & Spence, 2015).
2.4. An unexplored field: Online sensory marketing through
Only a handful of studies have been done on audition in the
context of online sensory marketing (Petit et al., 2019). We
know, in general, that sensory marketing through audition adds
a new layer to the online consumer experience and influences
online consumer behavior (Erenkol & Merve, 2015; Afacan-Seref
et al., 2018). For example, sound feedback from material products
during a virtual trial increases the willingness to pay (Ho et al.,
2013), and high-frequency sounds redirect visual attention towards
light-colored objects (and low-frequency sounds towards dark-
colored objects), which can be used to guide consumer attention in
commercials (Hagtvedt & Brasel, 2016). Furthermore, it has been
found that playing music online can have two functions: It can serve
to enrich product information, and it can provide a background
atmosphere (Fiore & Kelly, 2007). Research by Danner et al. (2017)
shows, for example, that describing a wine by means of sound
leads to higher liking ratings and the elicitation of more intense
positive and less intense negative emotions. An interesting study
exploring the effect of music was done by Guéguen and Jacob
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(2014). They found that the type of music played as background
music during a visit to a website may influence the consumer’s
choice: Participants were exposed to background music (or not)
while they were browsing the website of a seaside resort. It was
established that djembe music was associated with a choice of an
outdoor accommodation, while jazz music was associated with a
hotel reservation. In both cases, this led to significant differences
compared to the situation in which no background music was
3. Hypotheses
The above literature findings form the foundation of our research
design: to investigate the extent to which stereotypical music
influences consumer choices in an online shopping environment.
Stereotypical music in this study is defined as an unrefined socially
constructed association with music that originates from a specific
country, in this case, France or Germany (Susino & Schubert,
2019). Stereotypical music activates related knowledge structures
concerning the subject, which causes certain sections in the brain
to get primed (North et al., 1999). For example, when customers
hear French music, they may think that they like French wine and
choose French wine. It has been proven that all five senses can
be triggered in an online environment (Petit et al., 2019). It is
also expected that not everyone is equally influenced by music.
This is because consumers with well-defined preferences in their
memory will not easily deviate from this preference (Bettman
et al., 1998). As it is expected that consumers without well-
defined preferences will unconsciously base their choice on the
stereotypical background music, they will make a choice based on
their memory (March, 1978; Gottwald & Braun, 2019). Therefore,
we anticipate that consumers without those preferences will be
influenced by the music more often than will consumers with well-
defined preferences. This leads to the following hypotheses:
H1: Stereotypical music positively influences the wine choice of
consumers in a webshop environment.
H2: Consumers with well-defined wine preferences will be
significantly less influenced by the music when making a product
choice and vice versa.
4. The context of the experiment
In this study, we will investigate the relation between music and
wine choice in an online environment. We also included the vari-
ables ‘preferred country’ and ‘preferred wine’. In our experiment,
we used a paper by North et al. (1999) as a starting point. The study
investigated the extent to which stereotypical French and German
music could influence supermarket customers’ choices regarding
French and German wines in an offline environment. The results
showed that French music led to French wines outselling Ger-
man ones. The effect also proved to work both ways: when Ger-
man music was played, German wines outsold French wines. The
relationship between preferred wine (French versus German) and
French and German music conditions led to a non-significant value
in their study.
4.1. Participants
Participants were native Dutch speakers from the Netherlands,
selected online by non-probability sampling. In total, 417 par-
ticipants were randomly divided between the two conditions:
French background music (n=200, 60 males, aged 18-71 years,
mean=33.86, SD=15.029) versus German background music
(n=186, 63 males, aged 18-73 years, mean=31.32, SD=14.644).
In total, 31 respondents were excluded from further analyses due
to uncompleted data, no use of sound during the experiment, or a
mismatch with the target group (18+). This leads to a sample of
4.2. Materials
By creating a supermarket webshop, we were able to investigate
relationships in an online world. The wines were all offered for
a reasonable price, varied by type of wine (€9.99 for rosé wine,
€12.49 for red wine, and €9.99 for white wine). We played
traditional French and German music. For French music, ‘Une belle
histoire’ by Michel Fugain was played and for German music,
‘Du’ by Peter Maffay was selected. ‘Une belle histoire’ and ‘Du’
are well-known evergreens in the country in which the experiment
was performed (the Netherlands) and are therefore familiar to the
target group. Even participants who were not familiar with these
songs could recognize the origin of the song by the French and
German languages, both well-known languages and widely offered
high school subjects in the Netherlands. A small pilot study (n=11)
established that these two pieces of music hold good face validity.
4.3. Design and procedure
Our experiment is a ‘lab-in-the-field’ experiment, which combines
elements of a lab in a natural setting (Duflo & Banerjee, 2017, pp.
439-461). This design choice aims to improve the generalizability
of this study while controlling the experiment to ensure internal
validity. The designed webshop had the look and feel of a real online
supermarket and participants were able to perform this study in their
own natural environment.
As figure 1 shows, participants were randomly assigned to
one of the two conditions (French background music or German
background music) during the experiment. Three types of wine
(white, red, and rosé) were altered. Each wine was labeled with
a country of origin (French vs. German) and the level of alcohol
was presented (low versus high). Additional information, such as
bottle content (75 cl) and type of wine (Chardonnay, Merlot, and
Rosé), was also included in this study (Figure 1). French bottles
were placed on the left side of the webshop for half of the days
and the German bottles on the right and vice versa. This was
done to minimize the effect of external factors on making choices.
Participants had to shop in different demarked categories of the
webshop and were asked to select one out of three products each
time. The participants were asked to do this nine times. This
resulted in a shopping bag filled with three chocolate bars, one
yoghurt product, one bottle of craft beer, one hunk of cheese, and
three wines (white, red, and rosé). This was done to minimize the
chance of participants choosing a wine by coincidence or out of
habit. Several national flags were added to the display to indicate
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each product’s country of origin. Products from other countries,
besides France and Germany, were also used to disguise the purpose
of the experiment. The flags represented the following countries:
Belgium, Poland, Greece, France, Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria,
and The Netherlands.
The most important factors for choosing wine during the
decision-making process are quality, price, grape variety, wine
style, and region of origin (Mccutcheon et al., 2009). The influence
of the factors of price and country of origin has also been
demonstrated in an online environment (Santos & Ribeiro, 2012).
To minimize the external factors, all wines were given the same
label, which referred to the grape type (white wine, red wine, or rosé
wine), which we will refer to as type of wine. It was also ensured that
the price of German and French wine matched, as did the alcohol
percentage. The country name varied (French or German), but the
other factors were kept constant. Variables were controlled and held
constant as much as possible so that we can assume that these results
are due to the background music.
During the experiment, typical French and German music was
played. We took into account that most consumers do not have their
sound turned on during online shopping. Two actions had to be
taken to ensure consumers would turn on the sound of their device.
Before participants could start their online shopping journey, they
were asked to answer the following question: ‘Which animal do you
hear?’ Consumers had to turn on the sound to be able to answer the
question. Second, the instructions of the experiment were given as
a sound clip. After the auditory instruction, the sound automatically
changed to French or German background music. After the products
were selected, a fictitious payment was made, and the participants
were referred to a survey in which additional questions were asked.
We asked respondents about their country preference (France,
Germany, or I do not have a preference) and if they preferred
French or German wine (French wine, German wine, I do not
have a preference). This was done after the observation; otherwise,
consumers could determine the purpose of the experiment, which
would bias the results. Finally, respondents were asked questions
related to the music, like ‘Was your sound turned on during the
experiment?’, ‘Did you hear music during online shopping?’, and
‘How did you feel about the music?’ The questionnaire ended
with general background questions about ages, gender, and level
of education.
We conducted the online experiment via the webpage theshop- Testing was carried out 24/7 so that respondents were
free to enter the webshop at any time between April 16 and April
30, 2020. The two-week testing period was not close to any major
public holidays. However, the results may have been affected by the
COVID-19 pandemic, as the dates indicate.
5. Results
To check the main relationship (stereotypical music x product
selection of different types of wine), a chi-square test was conducted
for each type of wine (white wine, red wine, and rosé wine). The
results of these analyses were significant p<0.05 (N=386) (red
wine: χ2=52.593, p<0.05. White wine: χ2= 31.015, p<0.05. Rosé
wine: χ2=30.387, p<0.05). Using Cramer’s V analysis, significant
moderate strength relationships between the stereotypical music
and the selection of different types of wine were demonstrated
(p<0.000) (Cramer’s V red wine: 0.369. Cramer’s V white wine:
0.283. Cramer’s V rosé wine: 0.281). This means that when
stereotypical French music was played, more French wine bottles
were sold. When stereotypical German music was played, more
bottles of German wine were sold. This applied to all types of wine.
The results indicate a clear connection between stereotypical music
and the wine choice of consumers (see Table 1).
Table 1. Boles of wine sold per music condition
Stereotypical music
German French
Wine type Red wine German 84 24
French 102 176
White wine German 102 54
French 84 146
Rose wine German 94 47
French 92 153
Furthermore, we conducted logistic regressions to find out
whether the variables of wine preference and country preference
have a moderating effect on the main effect (stereotypical music
x product selection of different types of wine). The logistic
regressions are chosen because of the nominal dependent variable
used in the study. We created new variables by matching
preferences with the independent variable music. This was done for
both moderating variables: wine preference and country preference.
When the music and preference matched, the value was coded as 1
(when a participant heard French music and had French preferences
and, likewise, when a participant heard German music and had
German preferences). When there was no match between the music
and the preferences, or when a participant had no preference at all,
the value was coded as 0 (for example, a participant heard German
music but had French preferences). By matching music and country,
and wine preferences, it becomes clear whether preferences have a
moderating effect on the relation between music and product choice.
To assess the fit of our logistic model, the Hosmer and Lemeshow
test provides useful insights. This test shows significant results for
all types of wine (white wine, red wine, and rosé wine) (p=1.000,
χ2=0.000). The fact that the p-value in all cases is above 0.05
indicates an acceptable model fit. Also, the omnibus tests of model
coefficients confirm the use of this logistic model, which shows the
improvement of the model (p<0.01). The predictive power of this
study, indicated by the intuitive value of Nagelkerke R-square, is
relatively low. The Nagelkerke R-square values vary between 0.122
and 0.371. This method is chosen because it is intuitive to read, as
it runs from 0 to 1.
5.1. Wine preferences
A more detailed overview of the data can be found in Table
2. The Wald score combined with the significant levels reveals
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Figure 1. Visual of variables included
Table 2. Result logistic regression for wine preferences
Red wine White wine Rose wine
B Wald Sig. Exp
B Wald Sig. Exp
B Wald Sig. Exp
Music 24.65 0.00 1.00 5.10 3.97 25.26 0.00 52.89 3.85 23.92 0.00 46.75
Fits wine preferences 2.53 19.58 0.00 12.60 1.89 29.21 0.00 6.56 1.24 12.87 0.00 3.45
Music x fits wine preferences -24.19 9220.90 1.00 0.00 -3.99 22.59 0.00 0.02 -3.54 17.80 0.00 0.03
Constant -3.45 0.51 0.00 0.03 -1.83 51.83 0.00 0.16 -1.71 49.18 0.00 0.18
the effects of the independent variable (stereotypical music)
moderated by wine preference, on the dependent variable (wine
choice). Regarding the variable ‘wine preferences’, Table 2 shows
significant results (p<0.01). The interaction effect (music x wine
preference) is found to be significant 2 out of 3 times for white
wine and rosé wine (red wine, p=0.998; white wine, p=0.000; rosé
wine, p=0.000). This data indicates that H2 is supported; likely,
consumers with well-defined wine preferences were less influenced
by the stereotypical music.
5.2. Country preferences
Besides investigating the moderating variable ‘wine preference’, we
were interested in knowing the extent to which country preference
could have a moderating effect on the relationship between music
and product choice. Table 3 shows that ‘country preferences’
were significant for red wine (p=0.009) and white wine (p=0.019).
However, the results for rosé wine led to a non-significant p-value
(p=0.122). The interaction effect (music x country preference) is
found to be significant in all cases (red wine, p=0.000; white wine,
p=0.000; rosé wine, p=0.024). These results support H2; consumers
with well-defined country preferences seem to be less influenced by
stereotypical music.
6. Conclusion and discussion
6.1. Brief summary of findings
The results of the experiment confirm that stereotypical music
positively influences the wine choice of consumers in a webshop
environment. For all types of wine (red, white, and rosé), there was
a significant relationship between the music that was played and the
wines that the respondents selected. Our findings also confirm that
consumers with well-defined wine preferences will be significantly
less influenced by music when making a product choice and vice
versa. Wine preferences and country preferences influence the
relationship between music and wine selection. Consumers with
well-defined preferences were less influenced by the stereotypical
6.2. Theoretical implications
Theoretically, this research extends sensory research in the
field of online marketing. We can conclude that the exposure
to stereotypical music representing a country while browsing
a webshop influences the consumer’s choice between wines
from different countries of origin. More specifically, our main
contribution lies in the fact that we established two relationships in
the context of online sensory marketing and audition. First, auditory
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Table 3. Result logistic regression for country preference
Red wine White wine Rose wine
B Wald Sig. Exp
B Wald Sig. Exp
B Wald Sig. Exp
Music 4.07 33.73 0.00 58.27 3.04 31.80 0.00 20.90 2.10 20.15 0.00 8.13
Fits country preferences 1.67 6.91 0.01 5.32 0.83 5.55 0.02 2.29 0.56 5.09 0.12 1.74
Music x fits country preferences -2.92 14.79 0.00 0.05 -2.37 15.91 0.00 0.09 -1.21 2.39 0.02 0.30
Constant -3.23 30.15 0.00 0.04 -1.54 27.15 0.00 0.22 -1.54 27.15 0.00 0.22
stimuli (stereotypical music) strongly influence consumer selection
while one is browsing a webshop. Second, this relationship can
also be observed in the case of well-defined consumer preferences,
although not as convincingly compared to the situation without such
preferences. Both ‘country preference’ and ‘wine preference’ have
demonstrated this relationship. This means that auditory stimuli
in general, but more specifically music, can be used to influence
consumer behavior in online marketing. While this was already
quite firmly established in offline settings, research in online
environments is far behind.
6.3. Practical implications
The findings of this research offer practical insights regarding
sensory marketing. The use of additional senses via digital
marketing, like audition, can help create an online atmosphere.
Our research indicates that online marketing and audition can be
more structurally integrated to achieve better results. Integrating
audio features can be used to increase the information richness of
customers and to decrease the void between customer perception
(of a webshop) and the message that the retailer is trying to get
across. This is done by supporting customers in making a decision
regarding their purchase (Fiore & Kelly, 2007). Online events
or apps can benefit from these insights and add audition as an
extrasensory aspect, creating a more comprehensive experience for
their customers (Spence et al., 2019; Carvalho et al., 2015).
At the managerial level, this means that online marketing
strategies should not overly focus on one-sided stimuli. Also,
designers of online marketing applications should be encouraged
to experiment with sound to reduce the possible inhibiting effect
of online shopping experiences compared to offline experiences. It
is recommended to not consider sound as a nice (but not crucial)
addition to existing webshop designs but, rather, to fully integrate
sound as a serious part of the design of online shop applications.
7. Limitations and further research
Although this research found strong effects of audition on online
shopping, there are limitations regarding this study. First, the
study is limited to a specific product category (wine) with specific
countries (France versus Germany). We assume similar results
for other high-involvement products and other countries but these
effects were not studied during this research. Future research
could also include a ‘no music’ control variable to further assess
the influence of audition on shopping behavior. Second, the
results clearly point to a relationship between auditory stimuli and
consumer selection. The moderating effects of both wine preference
as well as country preference prove to exist. The matter of matching
in this study is a critical issue. The moderating variable is matched
with the independent variable to examine the interaction effect in
a specific order, namely, a fit between music and preferences and
vice versa. The result of creating these new matching variables is
the fact that music is included twice in the measurements.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an unprecedented urge to
explore online alternatives to offline settings, including in the
marketing profession. In the near future, we expect an increase
in the use of new technology to capture consumer preferences
and nudge the behavior of consumers for marketing purposes.
Among them are virtual and augmented reality experiences and
more interactive online product testing. Also, beyond the scope
of marketing, the potential of using virtual and augmented reality
applications to improve test user preferences for new products and
services is now widely explored in the field of product design, for
example, in the context of value-sensitive design (Wernaart, 2021).
The potential of using sound to maximize the full experience of
different designs is worth exploring further. It is therefore important
to take audition more seriously in online settings – to not limit
research to stimuli that relate only to vision but, instead, to explore
the full capacity of using stimuli that relate to all senses. In other
words: Make more sound!
Financial disclosure
This research received no external funding
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest
Cite as
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of stereotypical music on the customer selection of wine
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... In the real-world, high-tempo music may bemore likely to encourage the consumer to purchase products than any change to the ambient lighting (Hagtvedt and Brasel, 2016). The selection of products by the consumer can sometimes be strongly influenced by auditory stimuli (stereotypical French and German music) in a web shopping environment (Damen et al., 2021), here matching the findings reported previously showing that auditory sensory cues affect consumers' emotion and purchase decisions in the store atmosphere (Yalch and Spangenberg, 2000;Helmefalk and Hultén, 2017). Auditory cues can be used to bias a consumer's visual product search, attention, selections and decision-making (Knoeferle et al., 2016). ...
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With the continuing development of internet technologies, an increasing number of consumers want to customise the products they buy online. In order to explore the relationship between perception and purchase intent, a conceptual framework was developed that was based on the link between multisensory perception, positive emotions, and purchase intent in fashion e-customisation marketing. We discuss the outcomes derived from consumers' experiences in fashion e-customisation and analyse the relationships between variables. Questionnaires were used to collect data for this quantitative study (n = 398 participants). The data was analysed using factor analysis, correlation analysis, and regression analysis. The findings contribute to the field of clothing e-customisation by identifying the effects of visual perception, haptic imagery, and auditory stimulation on arousal, and purchase intent. Visual perception and haptic imagery exerted a positive influence over dominance. We also identify the effects of arousal and dominance on purchase intent, and assess the mediating effects of these variables on visual perception, haptic mental imagery, and purchase intent. The results highlight how fashion e-customisation marketing strategies can be adopted by managers in order to increase positive emotions and how multisensory perception can potentially be used to influence consumers' purchase behaviour.
... This nudging effect even holds true in the digital environment, like a webshop! Damen et al. (2021) concluded that stereotypical music, French versus German music, significantly influences the wine selection in an online webshop. ...
... For example, North et al.'s (1997North et al.'s ( , 1999 classic study of the impact of French vs German music on wine sales in a British supermarket (first published in top science journal Nature), was based on just 82 transactions/customers (44 of whom agreed to be interviewed about why they had chosen the wine that they had after leaving the tills; see also Hultén, 2012, for another very small sample store study). Nevertheless, the latest research has demonstrated similar cross-modal effects of French vs German background music on online wine sales (Damen et al., 2021; though see also Heryet, et al., submitted). ...
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Smart technology is increasingly integrated in our ethical decision making. This raises questions as to how we should morally program technology. Deciding on moral programming depends on the moral intensity of the ethical issue. A moral intensity dashboard for engineers can help allocate the most suitable moral authority for a particular moral programming. Technology is not capable of ‘doing’ ethics the way humans do. This leaves forms of consequentialism and deontology as the most reasonable programming alternatives, using deontic logic as a starting point. Furthermore, it is very likely that in the more complicated settings, technology should have elements of meta ethics in its moral programming to adequately deal with scenarios that lead to conflicts in moral programming. We propose to use the calculation methods that stem from a comparative approach or the Expected Moral Value approach. All this has considerable consequences in how we should see moral programming in technology-driven ethical decision-making processes. We will therefore propose a roadmap for the moral programming of smart technology.
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This paper aims to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on restaurant marketing and management practices and outlines a three-pronged research agenda to stimulate knowledge development in the restaurant sector. This paper is based on an overview of the relevant literature on social media in food advertising. The authors also investigated trends in hospitality services to suggest a research agenda. This paper presents a research agenda in three dimensions - Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital media ads and the importance of social media ads during Covid 19. First, different types of artificial intelligence (mechanical, thinking and feeling) may open distinct research streams at the intersection of health crises and restaurants, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, this paper recommends that researchers move beyond typical perspectives on precedents and the results of restaurant cleanliness and cleanliness to delve into. Moreover, to help restaurants recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed research streams are expected to provide actionable insights to promote development and sustainability in the restaurant sector. Authenticity / Value - This paper appears to be a frontier study, looking critically at the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impacts of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry and how restaurant owners can respond to such post-pandemic recovery challenges.
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Conference Paper
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Purpose: The recently established field of sensory marketing attributes its existence to customer demand for sensational experiences, among other things. Consequently, scent is acknowledged as an effective form of communication of the brand. This study focuses on olfaction, comparing consumer behaviour between scented and odourless products, aiming to address the question of how scent impacts the consumers' experience, offering recommendations to companies with regards to scented products. The study is relevant to all the enterprises that manufacture or develop their own product. The SME´s can benefit through understanding the importance of scent and empirical insights about how scent impacts consumer´s experience. Design/methodology/approach: A Qualitative study has been conducted through the collection of primary data using two types of questionnaires, a-priori and posteriori of a tested product distributed to 100 participants with 89 % response rate which provides a sufficient basis for a good overview of many possible effects of scent. A subsequent stage of the investigation involved ten in-depth interviews which expanded on the subject. The study has been conducted over two months (March to May) at the University of South Wales in 2015. The participants were randomly selected students and staff of the university. All age categories and ethnicities were represented. Findings: The results indicate enhanced (a) quality perception when the product is scented, (b) semantic associations with the scented product, (c) multi-modality of senses e.g. scent increases the desire to touch, (d) impact of scent on preference where the decision is not impaired by other factors such as availability or price and e) perceived favourability towards a hypothetical brand behind the scented product in some cases. However, where price was a parameter, the scent did not have an effect; presumably as aspects such as price and brand loyalty overshadow sensory aspects. Research/practical implications: It is preferable to increase the range of products that stimulate consumers' senses. On the contrary, the cost is a determinant factor to consider before launching the product on the market as the price sensitivity can be quite high. The recommendation for companies is to diversify the portfolio and position scented products as more luxurious. Moreover, other sensory characteristics such as colour could be used in order to differentiate the purpose of the same product and facilitate multiple purchases. Other themes emerged such as the role of environmental aspects might be in some cases more important than the functional aspects. Originality/value: This paper offers comprehensive overview of possible effects of scent on consumer experience. The study further indicates how scented products should be positioned and incorporated in brand portfolio.
This study uses the attribution and signaling theory perspective to scrutinize the key impacts of the determinants of corporate website favorability. In addition, this paper examines the main influences of satisfaction and attractiveness on corporate image and reputation, observes the role that the demographics of consumers (gender and age) play in such relationships, and proposes a research model along with research tenets. To examine these tenets, the conceptual framework was empirically evaluated through the perceptions of 563 consumers toward the financial setting in Russia (563). This study employs complexity theory, which integrates the principle of equifinality. To examine the data, this research employs fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Additionally, this study makes a managerial contribution to the understanding of marketing and communication managers and website designers regarding the associations among corporate website favorability, its antecedents, and its consequences.
Can low-cost marketing tools that are used to enhance business performance also contribute to creating a better world? The authors investigate the role of online social media tools in alleviating customer (farmer) uncertainty and promoting the adoption of a new eco-friendly pesticide in rural China. The key finding is that even for a new product such as a pesticide, a low-cost social media support platform effectively promotes its adoption. The combination of information from peers and the firm on the platform facilitates learning about product features and alleviates uncertainty associated with product quality and appropriate product usage. Nevertheless, at the trial stage of the funnel the platform underperforms the firm’s customized one-on-one support because available information does not resolve uncertainty in supplier credibility and product authenticity. Having an influencer on the platform, albeit not an expert on this product, vouching for its credibility helps resolve this funnel-holdup problem. From a theoretical perspective this paper provides suggestive evidence for referent influence and credibility signaling on social media platforms and their consequences for new product trial. The authors also provide direct empirical evidence on how information facilitates learning; a phenomenon typically assumed as being present in marketing studies estimating learning models.
Purpose Online shopping has become a commonplace thing nowadays as people can buy products from the comfort of their home. But such environments do not offer a complete sensory interaction as consumers are unable to touch products which is quite important for certain categories of products such as apparels. Therefore, in order to find whether every individual seeks touch equally, the purpose of this paper is to deal with the differences in an individual’s preferences for touch. The study also evaluates customer responses towards the introduction of touch-enabling technology which can, to some extent, compensate for the lack of touch. Lastly, the study includes customers’ views regarding showrooming and webrooming. Design/methodology/approach A total of 203 responses were received through online and offline questionnaires. The data were analysed using ANOVA, correlation and regression analysis through SPSS version 23. Findings The results revealed that gender influenced the Need for Touch (NFT) with women having higher NFT. The people who were high in NFT preferred to buy in-store, whereas their low NFT counterparts were comfortable with both online and in-store options. Lastly, it was found that there was a significant impact of NFT on online buying behaviour. The new technology when used by online retailers would break the barriers that exist between real touch and virtual touch. Originality/value Although previous authors have given several options like mental representations, verbal details and brand image as alternatives to touch but the use of touch-enabling technology can revolutionise the way online products are perceived. The study adds value by relating NFT with online preferences, showrooming and webrooming.
Retailers use atmospheric cues to trigger emotional reactions that enhance consumer behavior. However, introducing cues into a store environment may also trigger sensory overload, due to too much stimulation. This study aims to examine the effects of adding high arousal atmospheric cues in a store environment on affective reactions, approach behavior, and evaluations by making use of different methods (i.e., two lab experiments and one field experiment), by adding various types of atmospheric cues (i.e., cues processed in higher senses versus processed in lower senses), and by differentiating the order in which they are added. Results reveal that when a third high arousal cue is added sensory overload (i.e., rise in perceived arousal and decrease in perceived pleasantness) occurs under the condition that this third cue is processed by a higher sense (i.e. visual or auditory sense). Furthermore, a decrease in approach behavior and evaluations is also observed when these conditions are met. Mediation analyses indicate that this effect on evaluations is mediated by pleasure and approach behavior. The research presented extends previous findings by investigating possible predictors (i.e., number of cues as well as type of cues) of the momentum where sensory overload may take place.