Merchandising With the Five Senses – What’s That Smell?

By Margie Merchandiser

This simple question could be a game changer for any food retailer. If the answer is negative, it will send the shopper nervously investigating or running the opposite direction getting out of Dodge as fast as their shopping cart will let them. However, an appealing scent evokes positive emotions and will draw the shopper closer to discover the source of the wonderful smell and definitely increase your sales. Who doesn’t want increased sales, right?

The sense of smell is very closely linked to memory. When we smell something, that information is sent to a part of the brain that evokes memories and emotions. Pleasant scents will generate a positive feeling, curiosity, and make the shopper feel less hurried lingering in a blissful environment. This equals increased sales!

The psychology with using scent in food retail is very simple actually. Smells ring bells. The shopper smells something and sends that message to the brain. The brain goes through its many file drawers and finds the memory linked to the smell. This compels the shopper to see where this delightful scent is coming from. When the source of the scent is discovered, the shopper cannot help but to pick the item up to be further investigated. Before you know it, the item is in the check-out lane, bagged and ready for supper. You were warned that the sense of smell could increase sales. Are you ready for that?

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