Going about their busy lives at work and home, people are eager to embrace every convenient solution. In some cases, convenience means buying something and having it delivered to your doorstep with just a few clicks, however, a significant portion of people still get an excitement from going to traditional, brick and mortar stores and checking out the good themselves. Whether they are retail outlets, grocers, or specialised tech stores, these vendors need every advantage to keep their market share against the fearsome eCommerce competition.
This basically means that stores need to improve their in-store customerexperience, motivating people to get out of their comfortable, air-conditioned homes and stop by. Supermarket chains and shopping malls typically attempt to create a unique atmosphere that is calming, positive, and most importantly, alluring to customers. It’s not uncommon that therapists suggest people take a stroll of the nearby mall when feeling depressed. It seems that customers not only care about how the store looks and feels, but are also likely to make shopping decisions based on how they feel inside.
Simply defined, in-store atmosphere includes not only the visiblecharacteristics of the space used to create an image to keep customers coming but also focusingon secondary other human senses like sound and smell. These are known as atmospherics. The store atmosphere is the pivotal contributor to the customer experience, which is arguably one of the most significant elements of the retail business today. As a result, businesses need to seek strategies that will differentiate their brand form the competition, and one way to do it is by providing pleasant and engaging shopping ambience.
Harnessing natural light
A US study from Hescong Mahone concluded that the link between natural light and consumer’s intent to spend is so strong that the presence of natural light can almost double the sales. In the 1990s, even retail behemoths like Wal-Mart started replacing artificiallights with skylights and other natural lightsources in many of their stores. On the other hand, after a morning-long plod in the harsh sun,there is something comforting in stepping into a store where natural light is moderated by versatile roller blinds, which make the atmosphere just right. Originally made of Scotch Linen, now they are available in many stylish designs and colours.
Music and scent
According to a study by Journal of Business Research signed by Eric R.Spangenberg, Bianca Grohmann , and David E.Sprott, on the effects on music and scent on shoppers in stores, the volume of music and the presence of a vanilla aroma have a profound impact on shoppers” emotions and satisfaction levels. In addition, it was revealed that music- and aroma-induced arousal raise pleasure levels, which positively affects shoppers’ behaviour, which then translates to time and money spent, and most importantly the total satisfaction with the shopping experience.
Why the atmosphere matters?
The study called Store Atmosphere, Mood and Purchasing Behavior pointed out that customers even rate retail establishments based on their in-store atmosphere. In the study, two furniture stores were compared – one had a pleasant atmosphere and the other ‘unpleasant’ one. Measured at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of their shopping, customers’ mood seemed to improve in the pleasant and diminish in the less pleasant ambience. In the store they preferred, customers spontaneously spent more money on articles they liked.
Mind your clients
In creating the atmosphere of your store, it’s important to know who your desired clients are, especially when it comes to music if catering to younger shoppers, you need to create a hip atmosphere, while if targeting professionals or middle-aged customers, your music component should be directed towards setting a positive mood and getting your patrons excited with upbeat rhythms. The wrong atmosphere can have an unfavourable effect by driving customers away, so you should always strive to create an in-store atmosphere that justly reflects your brand and resonates with the clientele it serves.
In order to create an immersive retail brand, you need to look further than just pretty lights and furnishings, and include the shoppers’ sense of sound and smell with in-store background music and scent. Whether you own a retail store, a beauty parlour, or you’re a lawyer or healthcare provider with a reception area, the in-store atmosphere has a critical role in your success.