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The read department smells Christmas, the bakery for fresh bread and the travel agency for sea breeze? Marketing experts have long been aware that the right smell will put customers in a buying mood. But the sales-promoting effect does not seem to go back to the grace of a refined smell composition, now shows a study: Rather, it's rather simple fragrances from just one component, the space for buying mood seem to create, say the researchers around Andreas Herrmann from the University of St. Gallen. Many studies and the experiences of the retail trade have already shown: The desire to buy has a nose, so to speak? With the right fragrance, sales figures can be significantly increased. Unconsciously, suitable smells create the customer's attitudes and emotions that make products or services appear more attractive. For the so-called smell marketing, various fragrance compositions are already available, which should boost sales odor. Andreas Herrmann and his colleagues have now investigated which fragrance aspects are the most effective. Specifically, they wanted to find out whether sophisticated fragrance blends would lift the buying mood the most, or whether the effect was based more on odor clarity.

Complicated fragrances distract from buying thoughts

The researchers carried out their tests with two fragrances: a simple orange smell and a composition based on essences of oranges, basil and green tea. The experimental location was a furniture store in St. Gallen. Herrmann and his colleagues perfumed the respective sales rooms with either the complex note or the simple scent. Over a period of 18 days, the researchers then observed the buying behavior of customers and the sales figures.

The evaluations showed that if the simple note was in the air, the customers spent on average 20 percent more money and also bought significantly more items than if the complicated fragrance filled the room or there was no odor manipulation. Possibly, the sophisticated fragrance composition had distracted the buyers of buying ideas, the researchers suspected. To investigate this question, they specifically carried out further experiments. display

They had groups of students solve tasks while one of the two fragrances was in the air. It turned out that the subjects on average a little worse off when the complex scent filled the room as the aroma of the simple orange essence. Translated to the marketing experiment, this means: Presumably, the simple smell created a pleasant atmosphere and at the same time kept the mind of the customers free for purchase, the researchers say.

The message for the seduction artists in the retail trade is thus: "A particularly pleasant smell is not necessarily an effective one, " says co-author Eric Spangenberg of Washington State University. The effect of fragrances is a complex matter, he emphasizes. Fine aroma combinations of biscuits or a multi-layered Christmas bouquet may smell wonderful, but they are therefore not necessarily sales-promoting, sums up the researchers.

Andreas Herrmann (University of St. Gallen) et al .: Journal of Retailing, doi: 10.1016 / j.jretai.2012.08.002, © - Martin Vieweg


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