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Findings of recent research of fragrancing in retail environments

Supplier: Ecomist Australia
26 September, 2011

Ecomist have summarised the findings for your convenience.

1. An investigation into the affects of fragrance on retail customer perceptions – Swinburne University (Victoria, Australia) 2004

A study undertaken by Val Clulow at Swinburne University of Technology in March 2004 explored the affects of fragrance on retail customer perception. The research indicates that the use of fragrance lifts perceptions of:

  • Merchandise, service and store quality
  • The use of fragrance can also lead to:
  • Increase impulse purchases
  • Customers and staff feeling happier and more at ease
  • Longer browse times
  • A point of difference for the retailers brand

2. The Power of Music & Its Influence on International Retail Brands and Shopper Behaviour: A multi-case study approach

Michael Morrison says that consumers have shifted from buying goods and services to buying experiences. He says that:

  • People want an experience
  • Consumption is a holistic experience
  • Consumers are rational and emotional

In his ideal retail model a store with my place (environment fitout), my space (music and aroma) and my experience (the total ‘fit’) attributes will create a powerful connection with the brand.

3. Influence of In Store Music and Aroma on Shopper behaviors within a young fashion retailer

Monash University (Victoria, Australia) 2006

A study undertaken by Sarah Gan at Monash University, explored the influence of in-store aroma on shopper behaviors within a fashion retailer. The stuffy demonstrated that there is a significant interaction effect between music and aroma.

  • Music and aroma can establish a specific mood and browse time
  • can influence shopper arousal and pleasure states
  • There is a significant relationship between the volume of music and the presence of aroma
  • The combination of loud music and presence of aroma clearly produce significantly more sales than any of the other combinations.

4. Improving store environment: Do Olfactory Cues affect evaluation and behaviour? Washington Sate University (USA)

In 1996 Professior Eris Spagenberg undertook a study to determine the effects of ambient scent in a retail environment. His findings conclude that:

  • Customers perceived a scented store to be of higher quality in surroundings and merchandise
  • Aroma provided distinct purchase intentions
  • Waiting and servicing time appeared shorted by introducing an ambient scent.

5. Olfaction and the retail environment: examining the influence of an ambient scent – University of Gloustesershire (United Kingdom) 2007

A study undertaken at University of Gloustershire, explore the ability of smell to assist the development and communication of retail brand image. It presented a number of propositions regarding ambient smell and retail environment including the potential for ambient aromas to act as a distinctive element in the retailers marketing mix.

A fragranced retail setting was deemed to be:

  • More stimulating
  • More inviting
  • Busier, and
  • More formal

Smell is powerful in stimulating associations and memories, and whilst these are often subjective and personal, there appears to be a general acceptance that smell can be part of the shopping experience and critically, that can add value.