Certain scents encourage shoppers to buy more and stay longer in supermarkets, Melbourne researchers have found.
The research, conducted by Professor Mark Leenders from Melbourne’s RMIT University, tested consumer reaction to a variety of aromas in a Dutch convenience store and found the smell of melon causes people to make impulsive purchases.
Professor Leenders also found melon improved shoppers’ moods, making them more positive and more likely to browse in store for longer.
Melbourne researchers found that scents like melon encourage shoppers to spend more (stock image)
When melon scent was at its most intense, a staggering 43 percent of shoppers made a spur of the moment purchase.
They also reported a more upbeat, positive attitude towards products compared to shoppers who browsed during lower intensity scent periods.
Different scents achieve greater results in specific environments.
What smell works for what shop?
Department stores: Grapefruit, cinnamon, ginger and orange
Clothes and fashion shops: Mint and lemon
Furniture and interior outlets: Tea, orange and lemon
Source: Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services
The scent of melon triggers a warped perception of time (stock image)
The smell of mint and lemon should be circulated in clothing and fashion stores, while the aroma of orange or tea will prompt increased spending in home furniture interior outlets.
Cinnamon, ginger and grapefruit achieve the best results in department stores and shopping malls.
Professor Leenders said scents can also affect our concept of time.
Grapefruit, ginger and cinnamon are the optimum scents for circulation in department stores and shopping malls (stock image)
‘Interestingly, we also confirmed prior studies that suggested that scent affects consumers’ perception of time,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.
‘At the highest intensity level, shoppers often underestimated their time in the store, while at the lowest level they over-estimated the length of their visit.’
The findings are sure to be welcomed by global retailers who could capitalise on the previously overlooked power of smell.