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In-store music and aroma influences on shopper behavior and satisfaction


  • Morrison, Michael
  • Gan, Sarah
  • Dubelaar, Chris
  • Oppewal, Harmen


Retail markets are increasingly competitive and retailers continuously look to differentiate their retail offering. One way to differentiate is by providing a pleasant and exciting shopping ambience. This paper experimentally tests the effects of music (volume high or low) and aroma (vanilla scent present/absent) on young fashion shoppers in a real retail setting. Results show that volume of music and the presence of a vanilla aroma both have a significant impact on shoppers' emotions and satisfaction levels. Additional analysis reveals that the arousal induced by music and aroma results in increased pleasure levels, which in turn positively influences shopper behaviors, including time and money spend, approach behavior, and satisfaction with the shopping experience. Direct effects of arousal on behaviors as well as an interaction effect between music and aroma on pleasure and time spent in the store are also present. The paper contributes to the better understanding of shoppers' emotions and shopper behaviors in response to in-store atmospherics and offers retailers practical insights into how to create competitive advantage by customizing the atmosphere in their stores.

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  • Morrison, Michael & Gan, Sarah & Dubelaar, Chris & Oppewal, Harmen, 2011. "In-store music and aroma influences on shopper behavior and satisfaction," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(6), pages 558-564, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:64:y:2011:i:6:p:558-564

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Spangenberg, Eric R. & Sprott, David E. & Grohmann, Bianca & Tracy, Daniel L., 2006. "Gender-congruent ambient scent influences on approach and avoidance behaviors in a retail store," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(12), pages 1281-1287, November.
    2. Turley, L. W. & Milliman, Ronald E., 2000. "Atmospheric Effects on Shopping Behavior: A Review of the Experimental Evidence," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 193-211, August.
    3. Chebat, Jean-Charles & Michon, Richard, 2003. "Impact of ambient odors on mall shoppers' emotions, cognition, and spending: A test of competitive causal theories," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 529-539, July.
    4. Grossbart, Sanford & Hampton, Ronald & Rammohan, B. & Lapidus, Richard S., 1990. "Environmental dispositions and customer response to store atmospherics," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 225-241, November.
    5. Chebat, Jean-Charles & Dube, Laurette, 2000. "Evolution and Challenges Facing Retail Atmospherics:: The Apprentice Sorcerer Is Dying," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 89-90, August.
    6. Belk, Russell W, 1975. " Situational Variables and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 157-164, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:sgm:jmcbem:v:1:i:5:y:2017:p:45-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wei-Lun Chang & Ling-Yao Huang, 2016. "Measuring service experience: a utility-based heuristic model," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-30, March.
    3. repec:eee:joreco:v:38:y:2017:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
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    6. Kechagia, Varvara & Drichoutis, Andreas C., 2016. "The effect of olfactory sensory cues on economic decision making," MPRA Paper 75293, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:eee:joreco:v:22:y:2015:i:c:p:96-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Santosh Kumar Biswal & Sreekumar & Arun Kumar Panda, 2016. "Evaluating retail store image - an empirical study in India," International Journal of Business Excellence, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 9(1), pages 68-91.
    9. repec:eee:joreco:v:36:y:2017:i:c:p:21-32 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Chatterjee, Subimal & Rai, Dipankar & Heath, Timothy B., 2016. "Tradeoff between time and money: The asymmetric consideration of opportunity costs," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 2560-2566.
    11. Dennis, Charles & Joško Brakus, J. & Gupta, Suraksha & Alamanos, Eleftherios, 2014. "The effect of digital signage on shoppers' behavior: The role of the evoked experience," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(11), pages 2250-2257.
    12. Paul Harrison & Marta Massi & Kathryn Chalmers, 2014. "Beyond Door-to-Door: The Implications of Invited In-Home Selling," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 195-221, March.
    13. repec:spr:decisn:v:44:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s40622-017-0168-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Klemens Knoferle & Eric Spangenberg & Andreas Herrmann & Jan Landwehr, 2012. "It is all in the mix: The interactive effect of music tempo and mode on in-store sales," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 325-337, March.
    15. Girard, Marc & Girard, Anna & Suppin, Anna-Caroline & Bartsch, Silke, 2016. "The scentscape: An integrative framework describing scents in servicescapes," jbm - Journal of Business Market Management, Free University Berlin, Marketing Department, vol. 9(1), pages 597-622.
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    19. José Verissimo & Rui Alves Pereira, 2013. "The Effect Of Ambient Scent On Moviegoers’ Behavior," Portuguese Journal of Management Studies, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, vol. 0(2), pages 67-80.
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    23. OLAHUT Meda Roxana & PLAIAS Ioan, 2013. "The Effects Of Ambient Scent On Consumer Behavior: A Review Of The Literature," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 1797-1806, July.


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