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3 Big Ways Scent Can Positively Impact Your Pet Business

The right scent can even boost revenue!

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POSITIVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE is crucial to success when running a pet business, and less-than-pleasant odors be pervasive and challenging. Luckily, there is a common scents solution.

Diffusing ambient scent in your space can convey cleanliness, improve customer satisfaction and even drive revenue.

1. Fragrance reassures shoppers of cleanliness.

During the pandemic, shoppers are more apprehensive than ever about leaving their homes, even for essentials such as pet supplies. Pet businesses must foster an environment that conveys cleanliness and safety to allay the fears of wary shoppers.

Although businesses are diligent about cleaning, disinfecting and following protocols, many of these are invisible efforts. The perception of hygiene is just as important as hygiene itself. Customers may not see you sanitizing surfaces after hours, wiping down shelves before service or upgrading air filters, but they can smell “clean.”

Global fragrance house Firmenich surveyed over 6,000 consumers across 11 countries during the pandemic and found that 63 percent of customers are looking for a fresh and clean atmosphere. A June 2020 Harris poll found that 56 percent of Americans assume a space is dirty if it doesn’t pass the smell test, and 93 percent say an unpleasant odor negatively impacts their perception of an organization.

Reassure loyal customers who are venturing out to your essential business that you’ve got their safety in mind with a fresh, clean scent.

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2. Customers are powerfully influenced by scent.

Shopper satisfaction is everything in the pet industry. Pet parents communicate with each other about their most trusted places to shop. Scent can be a powerful, yet subtle differentiator that puts businesses a hair above competition, and the research show it.

The Canadian Center of Science and Education published the results of an experiment on the effect of scent where 400 retail shoppers were surveyed after visits to identical stores, one control and one scented. The results showed that a pleasant ambient scent improves evaluation of store environment, products, quality of services provided, the level of pleasure experienced, their intention to revisit the store and customers’ spending.

Hasselt University, after similar research, concluded that “ambient scenting is an inexpensive yet effective way to positively influence consumer behavior.”

3. Scents increase store profits.

The impact of scent doesn’t stop at addressing Covid-19 concerns and improving customer experience.

Studies have shown that diffusing subtle scents can actually increase dwell times, and the correlation between dwell time and sales is well documented. A study in the UK found that increasing dwell time by 1 percent can lead to a 1.3 percent increase in sales. Similarly, the Wall Street Journal reports that retailers can see total sales increases of up to 40 percent by encouraging shoppers to dwell longer in store.

But which scents make the most sense?

Not all ambient scent may be right for your business. Should your space smell like roasted coffee or new car leather? Probably not the best fit for pet retail environments. Look for scents that evoke nature and freshness. Try bright green notes, suggesting the feeling of newly cut grass or a crunchy green apple. Check out citruses, to bring brightness and zest. Wood notes like pine and cedarwood can give the sense of the great outdoors and fresh air. Professionally designed scents are complex and nuanced, built with layers of notes to provide you options that are perfect for your brand and the in-store experience you want to create.

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Scent is a powerful ally as the retail landscape rebuilds from the challenges of this pandemic. It can help reassure customers visiting brick-and-mortar spaces, improve their in-store experience and build their confidence in purchase decisions. Ultimately these advantages make scent one of the best tools pet retailers can use to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. Paws down.

Heather Lane enjoys delving into research exploring the ways fragrance impacts people in their daily lives. She is a VP at Prolitec, a global company that helps brands create powerful customer experiences through expertly curated and designed ambient scents and industry-leading diffusion technology. When not studying the fascinating ways fragrance intersects the world of business, Heather enjoys being mother to her fur babies: Ruth Bader, Gimlet, and Magellan the kitties, and Ziggy Stardust the pup.

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