Take a whiff. What does your store smell like? If the answer is Mr. Clean, Lean Cuisine, or “nothing,” consider the latest research in scent marketing.
Time magazine reports that researchers in Belgium recently conducted a 10-day experiment at a chain bookstore that gauged customer behavior when the smell of chocolate wafted through the air.
Dispensers releasing a chocolate scent were placed in two locations, and researchers found that people were twice as likely to look at more than one book closely when the scent was present. They also were roughly three times more likely to chat up staffers and ask questions after browsing. Sales increased by 40 percent in some book categories, by 22 percent in others. Interestingly, women were more likely than men to dawdle and buy books in the romance and cookbook sections.
While chocolate may not be the most appropriate aroma for a jewelry store, keeping tabs on scent marketing research may help you uncover an odor that encourages shoppers to linger longer in your store.
The authors of the study concluded that disseminating delightful scents in the air led “consumers to explore the store.” For optimal results, “retailers should also pay attention to whether the scent is thematically appropriate for the store’s products (e.g., sea breeze for a surfing shop).”