Of all of our senses, smell is often the most underrated, yet it has a huge impact on how we view the world around us. The right smell can take an otherwise ordinary space and elevate it into one that is perceived as luxurious and high-end. Likewise, the wrong odor can instantly create a bad impression and leave your customers exiting your business before they even have the chance to make a purchase. The use of ambient scenting in the retail space is a critical element that many brick-and-mortar businesses are utilizing as a way to remain competitive in a cutthroat world where they are constantly challenged by online sales.
How Do Businesses Use Smells to Increase Sales?
Our sense of smell is intrinsically tied with memory and emotion. When we inhale a scent, it runs through our olfactory system. This system connects to both the amygdala, which helps to process emotion, and the hippocampus, which helps to convert short-term memories into long-term ones. That’s why smells from our childhood can evoke such strong feelings even decades after they were last experienced. Scent marketing has long been used to capitalize on those feelings, which is why so many realtors suggest filling your home with warm and inviting fragrances before open houses; it’s an easy and effective way to create a feeling of welcome and comfort for a potential buyer as it makes them unconsciously recall their childhood home.
Scenting is prevalent within many different industries, including hotels, healthcare facilities and even airlines. As their customers inhale these aromas, they’re creating a subtle link to their brand using that smell as their point of entry. From that point forward, buyers are always going to associate certain emotions with those companies, reinforcing the brand and instilling familiarity and loyalty. And all it takes is picking the right smell.
How Can Professional Scenting Help My Business?
Think about all of the effort you put in to ensure that your guests have a positive experience in your business or showroom. You’ve created eye-catching displays that lure them into interacting with your merchandise and making a purchase. You’ve selected music that keeps them alert and engaged. Perhaps you’ve even laid out refreshments or made drinks available to encourage them to spend more time exploring all you have to offer.
One key piece that many businesses forget about is scent. Using ambient scenting can increase purchases by up to 60%, with the average customer spending 3% to 23% more than they would have otherwise. Similarly, studies have shown that many customers remain in a place of business for longer, while at the same time underestimating how long they’ve been shopping. Simply put, selecting the right scent for your business can have a direct impact on your bottom line. Not only are you more likely to increase your sales in the moment, but you’re cultivating a rich experience that will keep your customers coming back for more.
What Kind of Smells Make People Buy More?
Much research has been done on how scenting can alter your emotions and your behavior. Researchers have discovered that warm fragrances, like amber and vanilla, not only influence customers to stay longer, but they can make your products seem more expensive and high-quality. When utilizing professional scenting, customers are willing to pay 10% to 15% more for a product than they would in a store without scenting. Not only that, but because warm smells create such a strong feeling of coziness, they can actually change your perception of how crowded a store might seem. If customers feel as though they are competing for space against others, they’ll try to offset this feeling by purchasing luxury products to give them a feeling of power. This is a potent tactic any business can implement to have direct influence over their customer’s behavior.
There are so many advantages to developing a custom scent marketing program for your business. It adds one more aspect to the overall shopping experience that will resonate with your customers on a deep emotional level, which is a benefit that you’ll be hard-pressed to find with any other sales tactic. It will elevate your retail space so that it feels opulent, which will help reinforce your brand as one that’s associated with quality. Customers will be tempted to stay longer and splurge more, plus you’ll solidify your company in their mind as your use of ambient scenting stores that event into their long-term memory. All of that adds up to higher sales and continued purchases for years to come.