- Music and scents which the shopper find to be pleasant motivate in-store purchases, especially the purchases of services. The broader point is that atmospheric factors count more when there aren’t the sounds, scents, and colors of products and product packages competing with surrounding sounds, scents, and colors added by the store staff. In all cases, the effects are strongest when the stimuli are subtle, so they’re best used in a long-term strategy of maintaining sensory branding to distinguish a store from other venues.
- Music is notably helpful in circumstances where moderate levels of machine noise or customer chatter risk distracting shoppers’ deliberations.
- Warm colors—reds, oranges, and yellows—stimulate consumers to make decisions more quickly, while cool colors—greens, blues, violets, and whites—increase consumers’ satisfaction with their purchases. This leads to the suggestion to use warm colors in areas of your store featuring innovative items and cool colors at the complaint desk.
- Scents are more influential with women than with men, and music is more influential with men than with women.
In university laboratories and retail field settings, researchers at Freie Universität Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin exposed consumers to different feelings of surface hardness or to different temperatures. The results of the studies indicate that greater amounts of hardness make consumers more likely to think of a retail business as rugged. Higher temperatures—as long as they’re not too high to be pleasant—make consumers more likely to think of a retail business as having a warm personality.
The quality of background music in a restaurant influences gustatory experiences when eating and thereby the impression the diner carries away as the restaurant image. Specifically, research from Oxford University finds:
- Sweet tastes and sour tastes are accentuated by higher-pitched music
- Bitter, smoky, and woody tastes come through better with lower-pitched music
- Piano or woodwind strengthens fruity flavors
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Orchestrate Purchase Intentions
Spice Up Store Sales
Exercise Cultural Sensitivity in Color Use
Mirror Responsibility at Complaint Desks
Use Synesthesia to Reinforce Store Image
Arouse Patrons’ Sensations