With busy work and family lives, people are all about convenience. Sometimes, it’s just as easy to click and get what you need delivered to your front door and stay home. While many of us shop online for everything, there is still considerable demand for traditional, physical stores.With that said, however, brick-and-mortar stores, be they major retail outlets or grocers, have to fight tooth and nail to maintain market share compared to their eCommerce counterparts.
This means that you need to take the necessary steps to improve the in-store experience, and motivate people to venture outside their homes and stop in-store. Look at retailers for example, as they usually attempt to create store atmospheres that are calming, pleasant, and alluring to customers.
Customers not only care about how a business looks and feels, but they’re also likely to make purchasing decisions based on the ambiance of the establishments they patronize. Whether you own a retail store, restaurant, hotel, or you’re a healthcare provider or lawyer with waiting/reception area, it’s imperative that you consider the role that in-store atmospherecan play in its success.
What Is the Definition of In-Store Atmosphere?
Simply put, in-store atmosphere includes not only the physical characteristics of a retail store or space used to create an image to attract customers, but targeting and engaging additional human senses such as sound and smell. This is known as atmospherics for short. Atmosphere is a direct contributor to the customer experience, which is one of the most important elements of business today.
The Basics About In-Store Atmosphere.
Business has just plain become increasingly competitive no matter what market you’re in! As a result, you have to seek strategies that differentiate your brand from competitors. One way to differentiate your brand is by providing a pleasant and exciting shopping ambience and customer experience with background music and scenting services.
A study by Journal Of Business Research on the effects of music and scent on shoppers in an in-store setting:
Results show that volume of music and the presence of a vanilla aroma both have a significant impact on shoppers’ emotions and satisfaction levels. Additional analysis reveals that the arousal induced by music and aroma results in increased pleasure levels, which in turn positively influences shopper behaviors, including time and money spend, approach behavior, and satisfaction with the shopping experience. Businesses are able to create a competitive advantage by customizing the atmosphere in their stores.
Why In-Store Atmosphere Matters?
Research shows that store atmosphere leaves a distinct impression on customers. The study “Store Atmosphere, Mood and Purchasing Behavior“ found that customers rate establishments differently based on atmosphere. The study compared two furniture stores, one with a “pleasant” atmosphere and one with an unpleasant ambiance.
“Customers’ mood – measured at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of their shopping – was shown to improve in the pleasant and to deteriorate in the less pleasant store. Satisfaction with the store was greater in the pleasant store. ..Customers in the pleasant store spontaneously spent more money on articles they simply liked.”
The results occurred simply because of the impact the store’s atmosphere had on customer mood. So, if you want patrons to spend more time and more money in your store, create an ambiance they will enjoy.
Create an In-Store Atmosphere That Will Attract Your Target Clientele
When creating the atmosphere of your store, it’s important to keep in mind who your desired clients are. Especially when it comes to music. Do you cater to younger clientele? If so, it’s likely you need to create a hip atmosphere for younger customers. Maybe you cater to professionals or middle-aged consumers? If so, your atmosphere should likely be geared more towards setting a positive mood and getting people excited with upbeat songs. The bottom line is the wrong atmosphere can have an adverse effect by turning off customers, and driving them out of your store. You want to be sure and create an ambiance that properly reflects your brand and the clientele it serves.
Crafting Atmosphere With In-Store Music and Aroma that Influences Shopper Behavior and Satisfaction!
One of the disadvantages of shopping online is the lack of tactile interaction. Play music softly throughout the store. But choose the tracks carefully. You don’t want to put the customers to sleep – you want to encourage joy and other positive emotions. Research shows the type of background music you play affects how much people spend, with slower tempos encouraging people to buy more – and even eat more in restaurants.
Not surprisingly, music which stimulates positive feelings. But olfactory triggers (sense of smell) can all be used to create a warm and friendly environment that is conducive to buying. There are numerous fragrances designed to provide specific feelings, however, some basic scents that work well include lavender, cotton, and vanilla.
One experiment at a book store for example, showed that book sales increased by up to 40% when the scent of chocolate wafted through the air. Customers looked at more books and were three times more likely to speak to bookstore employees and ask them questions.
Store ambience isn’t just about pretty lights and furnishings. In order to create a truly immersive brand experience, you have to go beyond just visual aspects and focus on the sense of sound and smell with in-store overhead background music and scenting.
By transforming a visitors shopping task into an experience, customers stick around longer (a.k.a increased dwell time), they’re more likely to buy, they remember the experience, and are much more likely to return to your store in the future. So, if you want to make more sales, attract new customers and retain existing ones, you need to alter the in-store atmosphere creating an environment that elevates the customer experience.
Got Questions? Are you ready to transform your in-store atmosphere? The contact us to speak with a brand experience expert to discuss customizing the perfect in-store atmosphere for your brand.