When people think of their favorite retail location, many recall store smell. Scent is a powerful memory trigger for use in branding. Research also suggests that certain scents stimulate purchasing behavior. Learn more about scent marketing and find out how to increase sales by scenting a store.
Store Smell and Consumer Purchasing Behavior
The scent of a store can affect the amount of time and money customers spend. Retail locations with scents that consumers perceive as being desirable tend to have longer dwell times and higher sales figures.
A study conducted by Samsung found that customers in the Samsung Experience concept store underestimated how long they had been shopping by 26% and visited three times as many product categories when exposed to scent marketing. Other recent research suggests that a 1% increase in dwell time can result in a 1.3% increase in sales.
Scent branding has the power to form immediate, powerful and differentiated connections with customers. Selecting any of the five following types of scents can increase the amount of time prospective customers spend in a store and sales revenue.
5 Types of Scents That Stimulate Sales
Studies show that several store smell types could have more pronounced positive effects on sales. Here are five types of fragrances to consider using in a retail location:
Ambient floral scents are widely appreciated and effective at covering malodors. Furthermore, a study has shown that gamblers spend 45% more money in a casino when a floral scent is dispersed. This scent category is broad enough that any store can find a fragrance blend to match the decor of a retail location and products for sale.
Vanilla-based scents are another effective choice for boosting sales. A study published in the American Marketing Association Journal of Marketing indicates that people spend more money in environments with warm scents like vanilla and cinnamon than in locations scented with cool fragrances such as mint.
Diffusing the scent of lavender in a retail location promotes relaxation, and the natural origins of the aromatic herb make this scent ideal for health and wellness stores. Store owners can combine the benefits of vanilla and lavender by dispersing our Lavender Vanilla fragrance oil.
Citrus scents are also proven to have positive effects on mood. A scent blend such as Simply Citrus scent captures the essence of cleanliness and can be a pleasing store smell for both customers and employees.
Woody fragrances are effective ambient scents. Many scents that feature top and middle notes proven to increase shopping times and spending amounts also have intriguing woody base notes. The type of woods in a fragrance may determine the best scent for a store. Consider the light woods of Cactus Blossom fragrance oil or the heavier profile of Cedar & Vine fragrance oil.
The Best Way To Spread Store Smell
The most effective way to spread scents evenly throughout a retail location involves connecting a fragrance diffuser to the outflow ducting of a commercial HVAC system. This installation process is simple enough for store owners who have basic facilities maintenance knowledge to do themselves, or an HVAC professional can install a centralized fragrance diffuser.
A central diffuser unit is the best option for spreading a single scent throughout a retail location. Many branding experts refer to this approach as a signature scent, even if a retailer does not develop a unique fragrance blend to use as a store smell. If you do not have access to the HVAC system or do not want to be limited to a single scent, you can set up one or more diffuser units to operate in standalone mode.
Our diffuser system makes it easy to control scent strength and set the timing of release, whether the diffuser is connected to central air or used as a standalone unit. Each fragrance bottle for the Whole Home Scenting diffuser lasts up to two months on average customer settings, making this system a cost-effective way to spread scents in stores.
Monitoring the Impact of Scent Marketing
Retailers can assess the impact of scent marketing by comparing sales data from before and after starting to diffuse a store smell. If you choose to switch scents throughout the year, you can also compare seasonal sales figures.
Retailers can also look into methods for tracking dwell time or experiment with diffusers in standalone mode to see whether customers spend longer in scented areas than unscented areas.
Major brands that do scent marketing often invest tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars into fragrance research and development. Small businesses have the option to use an existing fragrance as a signature scent. The scent you choose should match the characteristics of a retail brand and the products for sale.
The most effective approaches to retail scent marketing for most businesses include ambient, signature and thematic scents. Bold aroma billboards are best left to big brands and companies that are promoting scented products. Wild experimentation with different scents is also not recommended for retail locations. Customers who encounter drastically different scents in the same store location could get confused.
Boosting Sales With the Right Store Smell
Stores that match scents to branding and inventory are most likely to see an uptick in sales. Past scent marketing experiments indicate the importance of selecting relevant scents. For instance, a 2006 Got Milk campaign involving cookie-scented billboards at bus stops was so unpopular that it was immediately discontinued. Scents that seem out of place are also distracting while shopping.
Positive purchase intent has been found to be stronger when a store’s scent corresponds to the primary gender of customers to which products are marketed. This effect is diminished when gender associations with scents do not align with branding and products.
It is possible to increase sales by using the right store smell. Spread scent throughout a store by setting up a Whole Home Scenting fragrance diffuser. From increasing dwell times to stimulating purchasing intent, scents can have powerful effects on customers.