Research - 08.07.2010 - 00:00 

Just follow your nose

Customers’ buying mood is enhanced by agreeable scents in a shop. Scientists of the Center for Customer Insight at the University of St.Gallen (FCI-HSG) have provided evidence of this.

11 December 2009. Many products and product ranges in shops barely differ from each other. This is why marketing specialists work with light, color, music and images in order to increase customers’ buying mood and accentuate individual products.

Direct impact on the emotional center
Yet no sensory input is processed more quickly in the brain than scent, since it impacts directly on the emotional center and thus on the oldest part of the brain. If a scent is as simple as possible and matches a product, it will facilitate the purchasing decision.

Sales slips as proof
The FCI-HSG’s scientists did not merely content themselves with trials under laboratory conditions to provide evidence of this effect. Rather, they had more than a thousand customers in four shops observed for weeks. Only sales slips were accepted as proof of how much a customer had spent.

The result was unequivocal: the right scent led to a turnover increase of 3 to 8 percentage points depending on the product and the shop. It enhances people’s sense of well-being and thus their buying mood – and it becomes even more important than information about price or quality.

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