Retail stores struggling with customer loyalty or stagnant sales might want to consider a new approach for customer engagement: ambient scenting.

A study in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services found that customers spend more time in perfectly scented environments, even while intending to leave a store quickly.

The study found that high scent intensity levels made shoppers in a hurry spend more time in a retail store than they had intended to, in addition to underestimating how long they had actually spent in the store.

Furthermore, shoppers in environments with a pleasant ambient scent ended up spending more and giving more positive store evaluations.

Experimental evidence is one thing, but have retailers successfully incorporated scenting into real brick-and-mortar stores?

Retail brands as diverse as Nine West and Goodwill have incorporated scent marketing into their branding strategy, to significantly improved store evaluations from customers.

Billie Torrentt, vice president of stores at Goodwill, explains how her company came to trust Prolitec for their scent marketing needs: “Scent is a big part of the store environment and the overall shopping experience, but creating a pleasant scent experience in thrift stores can be a bit more challenging than the norm.” Since the installation of the scenting program, Goodwill managers have reported customers remarking that there was “no unpleasant thrift store smell.”

See how major brands have benefited from brand scenting:

 

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