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Sensory in-store marketing a hit with shoppers says Mood Media report

Sensory in-store marketing tactics are popular with shoppers, drive store visits and increase dwell times, according to a new study by Mood Media.

“Despite all online headwinds, the power of brick and mortar is undeniable. This study is yet another important and inspirational call to all in-store marketers, regardless of industry,” says Mood Media marketing director Valentina Candeloro. Mood Media provides a range of sensory marketing services.

The report, Elevating the Customer Experience – the Impact of Sensory Marketing, has just been published. More than 10,000 consumers took part in the research, in Australia, China, the US, and in several European countries including the UK.  Just over half (51 per cent) were female, and all were aged over 18. The participants each took part in a 15 minute interview.

The objective of the research was to better understand the impact of sensory experiences on shopper perceptions and behaviour. In particular, it sought to measure the impact of audio (music), visual (screens), tactile (touch) and scent stimuli.

Cultural differences were highlighted in the results. For example, overall 78 per cent of shoppers say that an enjoyable in-store atmosphere plays a key factor in opting to make purchases in-store rather than an online. The figure is 79 per cent in the UK, but 89 per cent in Spain, and 88 per cent in China; Spanish and Chinese shoppers consistently show the highest positive reactions to sensorial marketing in the study. Spanish customers are especially responsive to in-store scents, finds the report.

Sensory experiences can work as a tool to encourage repeat visits according to 90 per cent of customers, rising to 95 per cent in Spain (UK 89 per cent). Three quarters of shoppers (and 92 per cent of those in China) say they are likely to stay longer and spend more in stores where they are enjoying the music, visuals and scents.

More than half (56 per cent) of those polled say that the ability to touch and try different products is the biggest driver behind visiting physical stores, while four in ten say that feeling an experience is personal to them makes them more likely to make a purchase.

A large proportion of shoppers (85 per cent) list music as the number one factor in lifting their mood, though 57 per cent warn that they disengage when brands make poor music choices – or play too loudly.

Happy shoppers share their experiences, according to the study. It says that 80 per cent of shoppers would recommend a store if they found its sights, sounds and scents to be enjoyable. Chinese shoppers are most likely to share those recommendations on social media channels, with 56 per cent saying they would do so, compared to 27 per cent globally. By category, those shopping for beauty products, especially those aged 25-34 are most likely to share their experience on social media.

“Brick and mortar, when done well, will continue to evolve, grow and flourish. The demands and preferences of consumers will drive the in-store experience to improve, delight, amaze and showcase the complete personality and essence of a brand. Sensorial marketing efforts drive elevated Customer Experiences. And elevated Customer Experiences drive success,” adds Candeloro.

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