Hitting the right note with in-store fragrance can put shoppers in a buying mood
BY JULIE A. PALM
Smell is one of our most powerful senses. Fragrances are evocative and compelling. A whiff of baseball glove leather can transport you back to summers spent on Little League fields; the scent of hot popcorn can make you forget the lunch you finished moments earlier.
As mattress retailers, you should be familiar with scents that promote relaxation and share that information with your customers. In fact, you should stock items such as candles, essential oil diffusers, room sprays and sleep accessories that are imbued with rest-inducing scents. Lavender is perhaps the best-known fragrance for preparing the mind and body for a good night’s sleep. Chamomile, ylang-ylang and sandalwood are other good choices.
You want your customers to drift happily off to sleep once they get their new bed set home, but when they’re in the process of shopping, you want them to be alert and upbeat. For that, you need a different set of scents, such as citrus (boosts energy and alertness), cinnamon (improves concentration and focus), peppermint (increases energy levels and promotes clear thinking) and vanilla (stimulates feelings of happiness). There are many scent diffusers available to retailers. Place one near the entrance of the store or bedding department, by the sales desk or near the beds where you qualify most customers.
Here are some other tips for using fragrances in your store:
- Don’t overwhelm shoppers. Almost all of us have walked into a store that was so heavily perfumed, we turned around and walked right back out. When it comes to scents, common sense says keep it subtle. You want shoppers to walk in and think, “It smells good in here,” not, “Wow! I didn’t realize this place had a perfume counter.”
- One is enough. Unless your store or bedding department is enormous, don’t use multiple fragrances. The mix can overpower and confuse shoppers. If you want to use a fragrance palette, rotate scents from week to week or month to month.
- Ask an outsider. We all become used to our surroundings, including their smells. After you’ve been using an in-store fragrance for a while, ask a friend or family member to pop in and give the place a sniff. Is the fragrance too powerful? Too subtle?
- Fresh is best. Even if you don’t choose to incorporate fragrance into your store or bedding department, the place should always smell fresh. Are there corners of the store that smell less pleasant? A faint hint of mold? Is there an undertone of yesterday’s lunch? Keep food far away from the sales floor and don’t let trash pile up in receptacles. Everyone appreciates a store that smells clean.