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Activate shopper senses and grow in-store sales - Mood Media

Sensory marketing has positive emotional, cognitive and behavioral impacts on shoppers in-store, notes a new behavioural study conducted by Walnut Unlimited for in-store media solutions company Mood Media and global sports retailer Intersport.

©ammentorp via 123RF

In this 'Quantifying the Impact of Sensory Marketing' study, Mood Media partnered with its client Intersport to conduct a controlled experiment that found when sensory marketing was applied, sales increased by 10%. The research also found that shoppers spent almost six minutes longer in-store when the senses were activated.

“Knowing that 78% of shoppers say an enjoyable atmosphere plays a key factor in purchasing a product in-store versus online, we partnered with Walnut Unlimited to develop unique behavioral and neuromarketing quantitative research that demonstrates how shoppers react first-hand to specific sensory experiences,” said Scott Moore, global CMO of Mood Media.

“The results speak for themselves. A strategic top-level approach to incorporating in-store sensorial elements creates a measurable emotional response with consumers that delivers bottom-line results.”

Research methodology


In order to understand how Intersport shoppers reacted to sensory experiences, Mood Media set up an environment that was split into two phases in a store in Amsterdam. One was an “all senses” phase where all the sensory elements were activated, including music, the scent of fresh-cut grass and animated digital signage. The other was a “no senses” phase where the store lacked all sensory elements.

These results were then compared to three Intersport “control stores” which remained unchanged from their normal environment. To measure the emotional impact of the sensory marketing and to gain insights into the different consumer behavioral and cognitive responses, Walnut Unlimited measured Galvanic Skin Responses (GSR) and Visual Eye Tracking (ET).

Other key findings


Additional key findings showcasing the positive impact of in-store sensorial stimuli include:

• Shoppers purchased more items (increase of 4%) – and higher-priced items (increase of 6% in value) – when sensorial marketing elements were in place.

• The use of scent is even more impactful when being used to highlight a specific department or zone. In the scented football zone, customers’ emotional levels were elevated by 28% compared to the baseline.

• From the installation of scent in the football area to-date, Intersport has noticed a 26% increase in sales in the category in the test store compared to the same category performance in all the other stores throughout the country.

• Based on Eye Tracking (ET) metrics, awareness of digital screens in-store increased by 5% when moving visualisations were activated on-screen (vs. static images).

• Based on Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) metrics, a lack of sensorial elements in-store caused many consumers to become awkwardly self-aware while shopping, with 17% becoming more emotionally sensitive and uncomfortable in an unusually quiet and stimulant-free environment.

• Consumers like seeing themselves, which the study describes as “the science of narcissism". Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) and Eye Tracking (ET) metrics showed a significant increase in nervous system activity and engagement when consumers saw themselves in mirrors and interacted with products in front of mirrors.

• Shoppers showed a 50% emotional increase when touching and engaging with a product. This supports first-hand the important and unique role that in-store shopping continues to serve.

“As we build our omnichannel strategy, we continue to focus on enhancing our brick and mortar stores with memorable and engaging experiences that connect with our customer base,” said Chris Kleine, director design and development from IIC-Intersport Intl Corp.
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