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How Your Pet Business Smells and Sounds Can Negatively Impact Your Sales

Consider how olfactory and auditory senses play a role in the way customers experience your pet business, then make changes to improve their experience.




SMELLS AND SOUNDS can make or break a shopping experience. Let’s talk about how customers use their senses in your business and ways to make them part of your brand.

The Nose Knows

Our olfactory lobe sits in the limbic system of our brain, and that area controls emotion. We respond emotionally, in fact, before we respond intellectually. With that in mind, imagine how customers would react if unpleasant odors permeated parts or even the entirety of your business — the immediate negative emotions would likely have them wanting to spend as little time and money as possible with you, no matter how great their needs.

Give your business a good sniff. To address unpleasant smells, choose the products appropriate for the source, from pet-safe cleaners for in-the-moment messes to odor-absorbing gel crystals for stinky new product arrivals to air purifiers and HVAC systems that work for your entire space.

Now add an aroma that will positively affect your customers and improve their experience — and your sales. First, be sure it’s natural. Not only can artificial scents negatively impact pets who come into your business, but also people with sensitivities. Second, keep it subtle. A scent should never smack someone in the nose.

The smells of lavender and spiced apples are known to calm, while citrus and jasmine can stimulate. Try out different scents throughout the year and see if customers notice. Many department stores and hotels have signature scents. This is known as “olfactory branding.” Find a scent that works for your business!


Listen Up!

Now that you’ve considered how your store smells to customers, close your eyes and listen to it. Without the sense of sight to distract you, it’s amazing what you can actually hear. There may be dogs barking, cats meowing or birds chirping, but listen beyond these noises. Are there annoying hums from freezers or HVAC system? Is there unwanted reverberation from speakers? Are the animals a bit too loud? If any of these sounds are present, they may also negatively impact your customers, leading to heightened stress levels that make them not want to linger.

When eliminating unwanted noise, it helps to know that sound waves travel up and down, so high ceilings with exposed ductwork and hard underdeck will bounce the waves back down to the selling floor. And with a hard floor, which most pet businesses have, the sounds will continue to increase as more people and pets enter. Acoustic ceiling tiles absorb the bouncing sound waves, but when possible opt for the more visually appealing ceiling clouds made of similar materials. These clouds can be fun, decorative design elements. Placing easy-to-clean area rugs in certain departments or hanging fabric banners are other ways to absorb unwanted sounds.

Once you get the noise under control, bring in music. Studies show that upbeat music puts shoppers in a good mood and that the majority enjoy listening to music while they shop, saying it keeps them in a store longer — exactly what you want. When choosing music for your business, make sure it’s geared toward your target market, reflects your brand and remains the only music played during open hours.

Once you’ve experienced the smells and sounds of your business from a customer’s perspective and made any necessary improvements, track their impact on sales. Your customers’ noses and ears will thank you, as will your bottom line.




NASC Media Spotlight

At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

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