- Taylor Swift is the most popular artist on shopping and retail playlists.
- "Winter Wonderland" is the most popular holiday song on shopping and retail playlists.
- Nearly 1 in 5 Americans say holiday music playing in stores makes them want to leave or avoid entering.
- Americans are inclined to leave stores when metal, gospel, hip-hop, or rap is playing.
- Nearly half of Americans experience buyer’s remorse, with hip-hop/rap fans (54%) most likely to experience it and metal fans (19%) the least likely.
- Americans plan to spend $409 on holiday gifts this year, with country music fans planning to spend the most ($553) and classic music fans the least ($296).
The Sound of Shopping
Step into the festive season as we explore the magic of holiday music and its impact on retail experiences. Just as you’re drawn to the joy of the holidays, we’re driven by a curiosity to uncover the musical rhythms that resonate in stores and influence shoppers’ choices.
In this campaign, we analyzed Spotify data to find the top songs, artists, and genres featured on diverse shopping and retail playlists. We also surveyed 1,005 Americans to gain insights into their shopping behaviors and categorized their responses by their favorite music genres.
Let’s begin with a look at the most-played holiday songs, artists, and genres on shopping and retail playlists on Spotify.
Top holiday songs:
- “Winter Wonderland” - by Tony Bennet
- “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, Ken Darby Singers, John Scott Trotter & His Orchestra
- “Sleigh Ride” by The Ronettes
- “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole
- “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” - by Sam Smith
- Taylor Swift
- Michael Buble
- Ariana Grande
- One Direction
Next, we’ll explore how music can affect American shopping habits.
Music genres influencing shoppers to enter a store or stay longer:
- Pop 43%
- Rock 37%
- Alternative 26%
- Classical 23%
- Hip-hop/Rap 21%
Music genres influencing shoppers to leave a store:
- Metal 40%
- Gospel 35%
- Hip-hop/Rap 34%
- Country 34%
- Punk 23%
19% of people want to leave or avoid entering when a store plays holiday music. Those most likely to agree are:
- Gen Zers (21%)
- Fans of indie (34%), alternative (33%), and metal (32%) music genres
30% want to enter or stay longer when a store plays holiday music. Those most likely to agree are:
- Gen Xers (37%)
- Fans of gospel (61%), classical (44%), and jazz (37%) music genres
Over half of Americans (52%) say holiday music enhances their shopping mood, but 1 in 8 experience the opposite effect.
1 in 6 Americans want concert tickets as a gift this holiday season. Punk music fans are the most likely to say so (41%).
1 in 8 Americans want band t-shirts as a gift this holiday season. Metal music fans are the most likely to say so (42%).
1 in 8 Americans want music merchandise as a gift this holiday season. Punk (35%) and metal music fans (33%) are the most likely to say so.
Tunes of the Season
The last part of our study addresses questions like, who experiences buyer’s remorse after making a purchase? Who are the most generous spenders when it comes to holiday gifts?
Nearly 1 in 2 Americans experience buyer’s remorse after a purchase.
- Hip-hop/rap music fans are the most likely to experience this (54%), while metal fans are the least likely (19%).
- Gen Zers were the generation most likely to experience it (61%).
More than half of Americans have regretted a holiday purchase.
- Those most likely to have experienced this are fans of the following music genres: folk (67%), punk (61%), alternative (61%), R&B/soul (55%), and country (55%).
When it comes to this year’s holiday gift spending compared to last year’s:
- 54% plan to spend the same amount.
- 33% plan to spend less.
- 13% plan to spend more.
Americans plan to spend an average of $409 on holiday gifts this year.
- Country fans plan to spend the most on gifts this holiday: an average of $553.
- Classical fans intend to spend the least, averaging $296.
Planned holiday gift spending by generation:
- Gen Z: $296
- Millennials: $418
- Gen X: $433
- Baby boomers: $416
Top factors contributing to Americans’ holiday shopping splurges:
- Price (74%)
- Sales and discounts (67%)
- Reviews and ratings from previous buyers (36%)
- Buying experience (34%)
- Brand trustworthiness (29%)
- Shipping cost (27%)
- Impulse buying (23%)
- Recommendations from friends and family (23%)
Top holiday shopping splurge influences by favorite music genre:
- Price: Gospel (94%), R&B/soul (87%), and metal (81%)
- Sales and discounts: Metal (86%), jazz (79%), and indie (77%)
- Reviews and ratings from previous buyers: Alternative (44%), indie (43%), and punk (39%)
- Brand trustworthiness: Punk (44%), hip-hop/rap (41%), and jazz (38%)
- Peer pressure or social expectations: Punk (22%)
In Tune with Holiday Shopping
As the holiday season approaches, the right melody might just be a key to unlocking greater shopper satisfaction and increased sales. Our findings suggest a tailored approach to in-store music could enhance the shopping atmosphere, potentially increasing consumer spending. Retailers might consider these insights to curate holiday playlists that resonate with their target audience.
Overall, pop music is likely a safe bet. And since holiday music-averse Gen Zers are more likely to shop in-store than most other generations, some retailers might consider playing something other than “Winter Wonderland.” No matter who you want to attract, avoid playing metal for the best results (unless you sell metal band t-shirts).
For this campaign, we analyzed Spotify data to pinpoint the top songs, artists, and genres featured on diverse shopping and retail playlists. We also surveyed 1,005 Americans to explore their retail shopping behaviors, categorizing their responses based on their favorite music genres. Among them, 11% were baby boomers, 32% were Gen X, 48% were millennials, and 10% were Gen Z (percentages don’t total 100 due to rounding).
CouponFollow is like a treasure map for finding online shopping deals. We make it super simple to grab the latest discounts, so you can save money and shop smarter without the hassle.
Fair use statement
Feel free to share the melodic insights from our study with fellow holiday retail enthusiasts, provided you do so for non-commercial use. Please attribute the findings by linking back to this page, ensuring our data remains intact for all to reference.