There are five senses and one of them is the sense of smell. Sight is said to be the priority but the smell is crucial to the human being’s daily decisions, memories and emotions. The same theory applies to retail consumers. Smell, which is the most “emotional” sense, has a big impact on shoppers’ thoughts and feelings. It causes them to feel good while shopping.

What makes smell so special?

Scents are capable of changing the feelings of people. A particular odor can influence what a person thinks and how information is processed. For example, satisfying scents jolt the brain to concentrate on positive aspects of the environment. In retail, it has the capacity to convert a middle of the road establishment into a first-class boutique with better merchandise, improved service and reasonable prices. Smell is not just icing on the cake. This sense reforms the whole customer experience.

Scents generate attention and processing of goods as well which adds to sales. The scent must not only be gratifying but harmonize with the shopping atmosphere. Store owners should find out how to go about this process. Small enterprises can learn many things from large retail companies. It is understandable these start-ups will find it hard to hire a team of marketers, visual merchandisers and psychologists for lack of funds. Yet, savvy entrepreneurs can do their own research on how to integrate smell, sight and sound in merchandising techniques, store layout, displays, and sign posts.

The nose is a powerful sense of smell that affects consumers’ decisions in restaurants but supermarkets and small grocery outlets as well. Yet, people and businesses seldom notice it can be effective for retail organizations with an offline presence.

Sensory Branding and Marketing 

Ordinary persons rarely think more than once how shops smell like or the way it makes them do things. The so-called sensory branding is gradually becoming a major element of retailers’ consumer marketing. Storeowners normally depend on lighting, colors and music to establish a mood. Now, entrepreneurs also use smell in connecting consumers to their brands via the buying experience.

Scent remains less appreciated compared to other senses although scientific research disclosed it has a role in how individuals observe their environs. The olfactory (related to the sense of smell) processes smells associated with emotions and memories. It is one reason perfume sparks off emotional recollections among persons. Pleasant recollections cause them to buy merchandise that reminds them of blissful emotions.

Scents are adopted in marketing.  One is the marketers’ scent which is known as a strategy in promotions. Examples are the smell of baking in bakeshops or fragrances in a perfumery. Product scent is another category which includes colognes, body spray, body mist, and related items. Ambient scent refers to is a general aroma that does not come from commodities but from the retail settings.

Objective ambient scent is defined as the use of ambient scent technology to impact customers’ way of thinking for the storeowner’s benefit. For example, more people will likely buy clothes from a small but scented apparel shop than a big department store that has a stale odor. This also affects retailer performance. Symmetry or harmony between smell and environmental issues (merchandise and marketing indications) have positive influences on assessments, time consumers stay in establishments, and the amount of money spent.

Smell of Retail Success

Many small retail outlets are experiencing the scent of success in their enterprises. However, the competition for noses is becoming more forceful.

Some shop owners are setting up devices discreetly to disperse extracts of sweet-smelling whiffs in the interiors.

Outlets that rely on fragrance to entice shoppers or push them to purchase more discovered utilizing the right smell is not easy.

Scent may be good for one individual but obnoxious to another. It should be strong to draw in customers but should not cause offense to other businesses or persons.

Storeowners are starting to take on scent marketing to produce ambiance with design and illumination. Most retailers spread fragrance through air-conditioning and heating units.

Sweet and subtle odors work perfectly in diffusing equipment. Senses circumvent the conscious brain so if a mother smells baby lotion in a particular store, her tendency is to proceed to the infant’s section and spend money there. In short, retailers can control shoppers’ preferences while buying products. This is similar to manipulation of sight and any other human sense.

Variations of Scents

Scents differ in many ways. Fragrances may be composed of only one or multiple ingredients. According to researchers, the density of scents can have an effect on the capacity of shoppers to deal with olfactory information. The less difficult it is makes processing simple. This results in greater effect on related behaviors and attitudes. It generates positive responses to the retail surroundings and products.

Another finding was shoppers have the tendency to splurge because of simple ambient smell. The fragrance was diffused in a small store. With simple ambient scent, there were more shoppers who spent a lot of money compared to complex ambient scent or when there was no aroma at all. People are also inclined to make decisions faster. Simple scents turned out the most positive results from the marketing point of view. These produced higher retail sales and revenues as against the complex or no scent approach.

 What is the Overall Outcome?

Smell definitely influences consumers with regards to entering, purchasing and revisiting a store. Ambient scent if used strategically is considered the most cost-effective technique to manipulate consumer action. Henceforth, small retailers must opt for this method based on the right target market. If combined with other inexpensive visual merchandising tools, the outcome will be successful.