Think about the various smells that you pick up when you walk around the mall. Are you called to buy a sweet cinnamon roll or buttery soft pretzel in the food court? Do you think about the smell of cologne when you walk past the men’s section of a department store? Do you crave the excitement of a new book in your hands as you flip through the pages and embrace the smell of paper and possibility?
As you can see through these examples, the scent marketing benefits speak for themselves.
Even the idea of a store, food, or item can trigger memories or feelings that create a sense of longing. If you operate a business, keep the sense of smell in mind. Check out these six scent marketing benefits for your brand.
#1) Smell can drive customer behavior.
Smells can change how your customers feel and interact with the items around them. A good smell can improve a bad mood, driving customers to be nicer to employees and to each other. Customers who are happy with the smell around them will likely be more open to looking at products and considering additional services.
Use coffee and tea shops as examples of this. Many people will tell you that they love the smell of roasting beans even if they don’t drink coffee. Luring customers in with the good smell of roasted coffee can convince them to buy a pastry or a non-coffee based drink. This is especially effective in cold winter months where the idea of holding a warm beverage between your hands is especially appealing.
Research has even found that good smells make people spend more. Your customers are more prone to impulse buys and are open to the idea of higher price tags. A casino was able to make people spend 45% more just by changing the scent profile in the building. That’s a significant impact.
#2) Pleasant smells keep customers around.
Simply put, people like staying in places that smell good. Real estate agents use smell to create a sense of home and comfort so they can keep people around. The better the place smells, the longer potential buyers will stay there.
The longer a customer spends in your store, the more likely they are to buy your products. During this time, your in-store marketing promotes the benefits of your products, and your sales team has time to sell shoppers on various items.
You have likely seen this with customers before. A shopper comes in with a friend and doesn’t intend to buy anything. However, after a while spent watching their friend, they start looking at certain items or checking price tags. More time spent in your store means more money.
You will start to see a correlation between scent marketing and sales as customers linger longer than they normally would.
#3) Good smells create better customer experiences.
Scent marketing benefits store owners by influencing purchase behavior while creating an immersive shopping experience. Williams-Sonoma is a strong example of companies using the power of scent to tap into experiential marketing. Even if you are nowhere near the store and haven’t been to one in years, you can likely imagine the smell greets you when you walk inside.
Williams-Sonoma mostly sells cooking ware and dining decor items. However, most stores come with the scent of strong herbs, lemons, and olive oil. Oftentimes, stores will place herb kits and other spice packets around the store for customers to buy, but also to create an earthy experience that makes people want to cook. Customers are more likely to buy because they want to emotions and flavors that come with the store’s scents.
Think about the entire customer journey in regard to the shopping and buying process. Are you creating an experience that involves all five senses?
#4) Smells create lasting memories.
In past blog posts, we have touched on the power of scent marketing and memory. Smells can stay with customers for years after they leave a store and people often experience a flood of memories when they come across a smell from their childhood or from a significant point in their lives.
Scent marketing can be part of your branding strategy. It can be a way to keep your brand in the minds of customers, even if they’re not thinking about your products. Plus, if people are thinking about you, they’re more likely to return to your store.
#5) Smells can increase staff productivity.
Scent marketing benefits aren’t just for your customers. Working in an environment that smells good can also benefit your employees. The people who work for you will be more alert and productive, which means they will make fewer mistakes and be available to help customers. Plus, happier customers because of the good smells lead to happier employees, who are less likely to face rude or aggressive shoppers who test their moods.
Naturally, productive and helpful employees are also good for business. Your customers will be happier with the people they encounter, and they will want to return and tell their friends about your business.
#6) Your business smells. Scent marketing makes it smell good.
In all likelihood, your business already has an odor. It’s a combination of the smells your products emit, the smell of your brick and mortar store, and the smell of storage containers and back area materials.
If you’re not using scent marketing, these scents could overpower your customers and create memories that you never intended them to have. By taking control of the scent in your business, you decide what customers smell and what type of customer experience they have.
Learn About Scent Marketing Benefits and the Customer Experience
If you’re considering improving the customer experience inside of your business, we’d love to help you learn more about the benefits of scent marketing.
Contact us today or learn more about the customer experience in our free ebook Exceptional Customer Experiences, which takes an in-depth look at in-store marketing. Either way, our resources are your action plan. You can develop a scent plan to win customers over and keep them coming back.