Visual Merchandising: Retail Fragrances & Smells

Would you like to enhance your customer’s purchase intention and loyalty to your business? Tap into the world of visual merchandising and use a nice smell to lure in customers to your stores. Visual merchandising refers to the techniques that retailers use to engage shoppers and encourage them to buy the products stocked by the retailer and help them increase sales.

As a retailer visual merchandising involves engaging the customer using sight, hearing and smell. For this reason your lighting should underline the mood of your store and its products and music help inspire the customer to buy. Fragrances and smells also play a long way in inspiring customers. For example, a bakery whose aroma of cinnamon buns will draw in a customer who is passing buy and inspire them to spend some money on these delicacies.

Why Should You Add a Fragrance to Your Retail Store?

  • It uses the customers’ sense of smell to enhance the appeal of the products your store sells. This increases the customer’s intent to buy your products as well as their willingness to come back for more.
  • Diffusing a pleasant air scent in your retail outlet creates an emotional association between the customer and your brand and is thus a great way to increase customer loyalty. This is because the sense of smell connected to the brain part that deals with memory and emotion.
  • According to neuromarketing research, the sense of smell is among all other senses such as auditory and visual is the most related to emotional recollection. Therefore to trigger positive recollections in your customer, using fragrances and scents is the best bet. Even in cases where your products do not have a smell ensuring the store itself has a pleasing scent without overwhelming your customers goes a long way in gaining more sales and loyalty from your customer base.
  • It creates a unique experience which customers will positively associate with your brand. In this internet and ecommerce era, a customer’s experience in your brand’s physical location should be as unique and memorable as possible in order to entice them to not only buy but also keep coming back. Indeed, they are bound to linger for long if your store is scented and more likely to spend money which improves your competitive edge.
  • Customers not only tend to have positive memories associated with their shopping experience in your retail space but also are more satisfied whenever they shop at a scented location as compared to shopping at an unscented store.
  • While the saying is ‘happy wife, happy life,’ in business, a happy customer translates to a thriving business. Scents uplift the customers’ moods and make them more relaxed and comfortable in the environment they are in. This also helps linger. Indeed most hotels now use scent marketing alongside lighting and décor to create ambiance. Relaxing smells make the hotel lobby inviting while exotic scents invite you to high fashion clothes and shoe stores as they suggest that the merchandise is luxurious.
  • Different fragrances evoke different memories and have different effects on your customers. For example, seasonal fragrances such as cinnamon around Christmas can boost sale of seasonal goods. The key to ensuring that your scent is pleasant is to avoid having competing fragrances all being diffused in your store confusing the customers’ senses such that they cannot identify a particular one and associate it with your brand.
  • A pleasant olfactory experience in your retail space increases the willingness of customers to pay more for a product. This is because scents that calm and relax customers put them in a better mood such they are not too concerned about the fixed price or haggling over a price.
  • Scent marketing also helps customers rate a product highly and positively which not only increases their willingness to spend more for it but also, their loyalty to it as well as likelihood to give great reviews about it as well as the store that stocks it.
  • Smell is the most powerful influential senses and hence is most effective at putting buyers in a buying mood which increases sales.

Tips to Help You Reap the Benefits of Scent Marketing 

  • Diffuse pleasant fragrances through heating and ac vents as well as through aromas for hotels, restaurants and coffee houses.
  • For businesses in the hotel industry, aromas should be sweet as rarely do cooked foods produce authentic aromas if they are not actually being cooked.
  • The most effective scents are subtle to avoid overwhelming the customer.
  • Choose where the scent will be most effective in attracting the customer and inspiring them to linger. This could be your entrance zone, middle zone specific product zone or the entire of your retail space for optimal results.
  • Pick a gender designed scent depending on the products your business sells.

An example of a brand that has used scent marketing effectively is Cinnabon which uses locations where the smell of their fresh cinnamon rolls is trapped and lingers throughout the store. It is, therefore, important to add fragrances to your retail store among other visual merchandising techniques to boost sales and increase customer loyalty.