Our sense of smell is highly connected to our emotions, memory and mood. In fact, sense of smell has an extremely powerful effect on our automatic behaviors due to its direct impact on the limbic system. Scent evokes feelings and reactions without being filtered by the brain, resulting in automatic body and mind responses. Research shows that there is a 40% improvement in mood after being exposed to a pleasant odor.
An increase in mood and the experience of positive emotions translates into higher sales, increased customer loyalty, happier and more motivated staff and ultimately higher business profits. A 1993 famous study by Alan Hirsch found that customers were 84% more likely to purchase Nike shoes in a room with a pleasant scent, compared to no scent at all. A supermarket in Brooklyn revealed that following the installation of scent machines on their walls they saw an increase in sales of over 7%.
Aromatherapy has been adopted as a complimentary healing method for almost 6,000 years and has been found to have a significant positive impact on mood, stress and hormone levels. A study carried out on MRI patients showed that 64% of those who inhaled a vanilla aroma reported reduced anxiety before a procedure, compared to just 4% of patients who didn't.
Evidently, scent and indoor odor control is just as important as how your organization appears visually.
So how can you insure you are making the most out of the opportunity to provide a pleasant odor experience to your customers?
Keep it simple
We may be tempted to use a fancy concoction of smells mixed together (cherry, citrus, vanilla, cinnamon, lavender), however for best results we recommend sticking to one odor control spray throughout one department. If you are a large retail store it may be suitable to use for example, a hint of fresh linen odor in your bedding section and a sweet, cozy vanilla scent in your baby section. However, if you have a small boutique store it would be best to stick to one scent, such as a pleasant hint of cherry or citrus. The logic behind this is that one odor is easier for our minds to process and therefore we can focus more attention on shopping.
Make it relatable
Making your smell relatable to your offering doesn’t mean that if you sell shoes that your shop needs to smell like shoes. Instead, think about or research which odors will work best in which environments. If you want to create a calm environment, navigate towards a floral odor like lavender, or a comforting aroma such as vanilla. On the other hand, if you want to wake up your customer, try fresh fruit scents such as citrus, mulberry or apple. One study found that there are basically two ways to categorize scent, which is, warm and cool. Warm scents create a feeling of being in a more crowded environment and result in individuals perceiving that they are slightly out of control. This leads consumers to buy more high end or premium products as a means of regaining their power. If this is the desire of your organization, angling towards more herbal odor control such as cinnamon is an excellent choice.
Low cost and low effort
Boosting your customers experience via indoor odor control does not need to cost your company a fortune. Of course, there is the option to invest in expensive products and technology; however, a simple wall mounted aerosol is absolutely efficient in most cases. Many dispensers work on a time release and are fully programmable, plus you will have the ability to experiment with different odors. This makes odor control super low cost and low effort to implement into your company.
Incorporating odor control and pleasant scent into your company’s environment enhances customer experience and loyalty, results in more attentive and happy staff, and ultimately boosts your profits. Keeping a simple approach, sticking with relatable scent and adopting a low cost approach are all steps to a pleasant and profitable indoor environment.
Bhardwaj E, Gowda R, Hofstätter V, Mallya S & Shan J, Follow your nose to enhanced customer experiences,
American Marketing Association, published 2017.
Nordqvist C, Aromatherapy: What you need to know, published 20 March 2017. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10884.php