The Secret of Scent - Tip #5: The Science Behind Impulse Shopping

Posted by Polina P on
The Secret of Scent - Tip #5: The Science Behind Impulse Shopping

Impulse shopping. It happens to all of us, no matter how careful or prepared we are. You know the drill. You’re at the store, running through your list of necessities, and then suddenly realize there’s a new shirt in your cart that you definitely don’t need. You hadn’t even been planning on looking for new clothes, but something drew you to the clothing section.

Was it the advertising? You don’t remember the new shirt catching your eye at first. So how did it end up in your cart? Impulse shopping can seem to happen rather randomly, even when you’re on a tight budget. You may only have $50 to spend, but somehow your mind justified spending an extra $20.

What happened?

Learn How Scent Impacts Our Buying Decisions

There’s a trend going around that’s often referred to as scent marketing. Scent marketing is a technique used by stores to encourage shoppers to buy items through a variety of different practices. Some larger stores, where consumers go to buy goods often, like grocery stores, convenience stores, and department stores might use scent therapy to place shoppers in a better mood, so they shop longer.

This scent could be extremely subtle, yet still picked up by the shopper. This technique can also be used to draw customers to different, more expensive areas of a store, such as luring someone shopping for groceries to an electronics section.

That’s not the only way scent marketing works, either. Scent marketing can also be used to put shoppers in a worse mood, making them feel overwhelmed or eager to leave a store. While you might think this technique makes little sense, it can be quite effective.

Think about it. You’re in an expensive apparel store picking up a new pair of pants you absolutely need. You also have a sweater and dress you scooped up, that you haven’t put much thought into just yet. If you hang around the shop too long, chances are you’re going to talk yourself out of buying the unnecessary purchases. However, if you feel frantic to leave, you’re likely going to head to the cashier so you can get out as quickly as possible.

What Scents Are Linked to Impulse Shopping?

Some of the scents most commonly related to impulse shopping are dessert scents. The smell of chocolate chip cookies, freshly baked cake and even apple pie often comforts us, making us feel at ease with impulse purchases that might otherwise worry us. In fact, in many cases, these scents encourage impulse buying, possibly by linking the idea of a treat or reward to the scent.

So, next time you’re shopping, and you find an unneeded item in your cart, think about what led you to pick it up. Do you smell anything incredible? It just might be scent marketing at work.

Don’t just take our word for it. Test this theory yourself by purchasing aroma oils from AromaTech to place in your store.


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