How Does Smell Influence Customer Spending?

You might be more attentive to the smells in stores when you shop. These scents could make you spend more. Research has shown that while lighting and music are important factors in how much people spend money, certain scents can inspire shoppers to spend more.
What is scent marketing?
The strategic use of scent at certain consumer touchpoints is called “scent marketing”. You can create an emotional connection with your customer by using the right scent to make their shopping experience memorable.

It’s both subtle and aggressive. Because the scent can be emitted through windows and doors, it is both aggressive and subtle. Because most people don’t know that the scent they are smelling is intentional, it is subtle.

Tip: Learn more about all types of marketing. Check out our guide to small-business marketing.

The power of smell
ThoughtCo says that scents have the power to influence people’s emotions and can therefore impact consumer behavior. Lavender, basil, cinnamon and citrus aromas are relaxing while peppermint and thyme are invigorating. Rose promotes happiness and positivity, while ginger, licorice and cardamom can stir romantic feelings.

Washington State University researchers found that simple smells are more powerful motivators than complex mixtures of scents when it comes down to spending. Simple smells like citrus and pine don’t require a lot of mental processing by the shopper, allowing them to conjure images that are associated with these fresh scents.

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Eric Spangenberg (one of the study’s author and dean of Washington State University College of Business at time of study) stated, “What we showed is that the simple smell was more effective.”

For the study, the researchers developed two scents: a simple orange scent and a more complex orange-basil-green-tea scent. The researchers observed more than 400 people in a home decoration store for 18 days to determine if the air had the simple, complex, or no scent.

According to the study, the average spending of 100 people who shop in the scent was 20% higher.

Researchers conducted a series experiments where they had students solve problems in various situations. Researchers found that students were able to solve more problems in a shorter time if a simple smell was present in the air than if a complex or ineffective scent was.

Spangenberg stated that the research demonstrates the importance of understanding how scents impact customers.

He said that most people process it subconsciously, but it is affecting them. The important thing for both the marketer and the retailer is that pleasant smells are not always effective.

The study, published in the Journal of Retailing was co-authored in part by Andreas Herrmann from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, David Sprott of Washington State University, and Manja Zidansek also of Washington State University.

Tip: Be sure to include a detailed listing of your products or services on your e-commerce website. This will make it easy for customers to shop and help you predict how much they’ll spend over the next quarter.

Popcorn psychology
A movie theater is a good example of scent marketing. When people walk into a movie theater, the first thing that they notice is the popcorn smell. This isn’t an accident. This is not an accident. The theater makes the majority of its money from concessions, and not movie tickets.

Popcorn is a common feature in theaters that sell full meals in dine-in stadiums. It provides context for what’s about to happen and even makes it pop when customers first enter the doors. The scent association reminds moviegoers not only of past theater experiences but also reminds them about the snacks that they have enjoyed and can enjoy again.

What can businesses do with scent marketing?
Online retailers continue to dominate sales. Brick-and-mortar shops can now use scent marketing to improve the shopping experience and increase sales.

“Scent marketing is used in order to evoke a certain emotion in customers. It encourages them to incorporate a scent into their brand identities and to spend more time in their shops or places of business to improve customer service.

A study published in International Journal of Marketing found that Nike customers were more likely to buy if they smelled good. This suggests that scent marketing can have a significant impact on consumer behavior. A second study showed that people who are artificially scented put 45% more money into their slot machines. Research has shown that the limbic system controls emotion and memory, and our sense of smell is directly linked to our ability to perceive ambient scents.

Ambient smell improves memory performance and recognition.
This increases the time that customers spend in shops or businesses.
It lifts the mood and increases the enjoyment level.
It enhances the service experience.
Tip: Customers may associate your business with pleasant memories and feelings through scent marketing. Scent marketing can help increase customer retention if you select the right scents to appeal to your target audience.

What can you do to make your business smell great?
There are many options for using scent marketing in your company. Hyatt Place has used scent branding for many years. Harvard Business Review reports that Hyatt Place launched its signature scent, “Seamless,” with blueberries and floral notes in a base of vanilla musk. This blend scent is used throughout Hyatt Place properties. Hyatt’s goal, like many other companies that use scent branding, is to associate the hotel and create a subconscious association.

Visitors to Walt Disney World’s Magic House at Epcot Center feel relaxed and soothed by the scent of freshly baked chocolate chips cookies. According to ThoughtCo, Singapore Airlines uses a unique scent called Stefan Floridian waters. According to ThoughtCo, the company uses the scent on its aircraft and flight attendants use it as a perfume. It is also used to wash in-flight towels.

There are many other uses for scent marketing, beyond increasing spending. Studies have shown that scents can reduce anxiety in patients waiting for MRI tests (vanilla), and in dental patients waiting in the dentist’s office (lavender). Companies can now be precise about what they want to evoke in terms of scent branding and scent marketing. The smell of leather will appeal to retailers who are looking for high-end appeal. Linen and cotton are synonymous with cleanliness, health, and springtime.

All businesses that want to sell their products or services must influence the behavior of their customers. You can add scent marketing to your marketing strategy. You can probably create the atmosphere you desire using a combination of scents or fragrances.

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