Smells like teen spirit

November 03, 2016

Anybody who's taken a teen to shop at Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister is well aware of the scents and songs piped in to create an environment conducive to consumption and to help define their brands. Now researchers have teamed up to provide guidance to retailers contemplating similar strategies, via a meta-analysis of research related to the impact of music, scents, and colors on shoppers.

In "Calibrating 30 Years of Experimental Research: A Meta-Analysis of the Atmospheric Effects of Music, Scent, and Color," Professors Holger Roschk of Alpen-Adria-Universität, in Austria, Professor Sandra Maria Correia Loureiro, of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, and Jan Breitsoh, lecturer at the UK's Aberystwyth University, analyzed 66 studies of 15,621 shoppers - mostly women - conducted between 1982 and 2016. They found that all three sensory agents affect shoppers, but in different ways and to different extents.

The underlying studies had explored the impact of atmospheric stimuli on shoppers' arousal, pleasure, satisfaction, and behavioral intentions. For instance, Roschk and his co-authors found that music was significantly and positively related to pleasure and satisfaction as well as behavioral intentions, but not particularly related to arousal. In contrast, scent affected all the variables, whereas color - warm versus cool tones - had more of an effect on arousal and satisfaction. Music and scent had stronger effects in service settings than in retail.

The authors suggest that retailers, in considering implementing a sensory environment, be attentive to the subtle effects of the stimuli and not expect immediate returns. Music offers the greatest potential for being tailored to the purchase setting, while scent has the advantage in that pleasant scents may occur naturally (e.g., roasted coffee beans) and can be vented to adjacent store areas. Warm colors are recommended for new product aisles, leveraging their arousal property, while cool colors might work well around complaint-handling areas.

Journal of Retailing at New York University

Related Music Articles from Brightsurf:

Seeing chemical reactions with music
Audible sound enables chemical coloring and the coexistence of different chemical reactions in a solution.

Music on the brain
A new study looks at differences between the brains of Japanese classical musicians, Western classical musicians and nonmusicians.

We feel connected when we move together in time with music
Go dancing! A new study conduted at Center for Music in the Brain at Aarhus University, Denmark, suggest that then moving together with music, synchronous movements between individuals increase social closeness.

The 'purrfect' music for calming cats
Taking a cat to the vets can be a stressful experience, both for cat and owner.

Young people putting music to the crisis: the role of music as a political expression
On February 1, 2020, the journal Young is publishing a special issue on youth, music and crisis involving Mònica Figueras, José Sánchez-García and Carlos Feixa, researchers from the Youth, Society and Communication Research Group ( at the Department of Communication.

Music is universal
Exactly what about music is universal, and what varies? Harvard researchers have demonstrated that across cultures, people share psychological mechanisms that make certain songs sound 'right' in specific social and emotional contexts.

Why music makes us feel, according to AI
In a new study, a team of USC researchers, with the help of artificial intelligence, investigated how music affects listeners' brains, bodies and emotions.

The brain's favorite type of music
People prefer songs with only a moderate amount of uncertainty and unpredictability, according to research recently published in JNeurosci.

Watching music move through the brain
Scientists have observed how the human brain represents a familiar piece of music, according to research published in JNeurosci.

Storing data in music
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for embedding data in music and transmitting it to a smartphone.

Read More: Music News and Music Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to