How Apple, Nike and others increase their income? If you notice that display racks are nicely scented, it’s not just shops are tidier at year’s end. Scents like citrus and floral can make you linger and stay alert in the shop to buy more. Marketers believe scents do sell, with an increasing number of scientific studies backing such claims, that the whole act spawned a new marketing sub-industry: scent marketing. It reminds us of germ warfare, an unseen weaponry that has your wallet in the crosshairs. Real estate agents are already deploying this trick to unsuspecting buyers; the smell of freshly baked goods is said to encourage prospects to buy property during ocular visits. Similarly, talcum powder makes you feel nostalgic and, perhaps, want to buy that cushioned reading chair you don’t need.


The use of scent is just one of four sensory marketing tricks being used on us by shops eager for more sales. Collated in the new infographic below you can find a number of scientific studies that indicate what we see, hear or touch affect our buying decisions. You’ll be surprised at some of the seemingly unrelated factors that have a profound effect on your shopping. In one experiment published in the Harvard Business Review, participants were found to be a harder bargainer when sitting on a hard chair.


Likewise, you may already know that colors have meanings. For instance, sale signs are in red (urgency) and many insurance logos are in blue (trust). You’ll also get an idea how a number of your favorite shops, such as Bloomingdale’s, Apple Store, and Nike Town, lure you by playing tricks on your senses. Here are three other interesting facts from our infographic:

4 Ways Retailers Manipulate your Senses_infographic

– In a study by neurologist Dr. Alan Hirsch, 84% of participants were unknowingly willing to pay $10 more for a pair of Nike shoes presented in a scented room versus an identical pair featured in an unscented location.

– Music can also affect our behavior. Many fast food restaurants use fast paced music in the background to make you eat faster and leave so they can serve another customer.

– We’re also manipulated by colors: An eBay study shows that a red background used on the Pages Results makes people bid higher.

– Apple Store believes that by leaving their display notebooks half open so customers have to touch the lid to take a peek, the shop sells more notebooks. ( By Kate Stephens from )