Retailers, and the marketers who promote them, are master manipulators. They toy with our delicate senses — smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch — to have their way with us, all the way to the checkout.
While sight is typically the strongest draw for consumers (specifically the sight of color, especially red), smell is also a powerful lure, a fact that’s not lost on brick-and-mortar retailers. For example, Bloomingdales pumps different scents into different sections of its department stores to enhance the shopping experience — and, more importantly, sales. The tropical scent of coconut wafts in its swimwear section, the gentle aroma of baby powder in infant wear and the sweet bouquet of lilac in lingerie.
Apple is more touchy-feely. The iconic computer giant displays sample products in clever, carefully plotted ways that tempt shoppers to reach out and play with them. Before each meticulously uncluttered Apple store opens, employees tilt Macbook screens open to a seductive perfect viewing angle of 70 degrees. It’s not a coincidence. It’s an effective sales tactic or Apple wouldn’t bother.
Meanwhile, studies show that offering customers a soft, cozy chair to kick back in can improve negotiations in ways that favor retailers. Comfort is key to establishing brand trust and brand trust often leads to sales.