MARKETING: A QUANTITATIVE, QUALITATIVE AND HISTORICAL APPRAISAL
The proposed research investigates the role of the senses (touch, olfaction, vision, and audition) in affecting consumers’ perceptions and interpretations of retail environments. Extant research in marketing suggests that sensory stimuli, such as color, background music, or ambient scents, influence consumers’ evaluation of the retail environment and the merchandise presented therein, and affect consumers’ behavior (e.g., purchase amount, time spent at a store). While this stream of literature is theoretically informative and rich in managerial implications, most of it has focused on one sense at a time, and thus ignored the joint impact of sensory stimuli on consumers’ evaluations and behaviors. Only recently have marketers begun to theorize the multi-sensory consumer experience in retail environments. The empirical literature supporting this theoretical activity remains scarce. For example, to date there are only two studies on the interactive effect of background music and ambient scent, both of which demonstrate that congruity (or “fit”) of two sensory stimuli is important in evoking positive consumer responses.
to Virginia Postrel in The Substance of Style, "sensory appeals are
becoming ever more prominent in our culture" - a "new age of
aesthetics" has arrived. The proposed research extends the as yet
scarce empirical literature on the multi-sensory consumer experience in
retail environments by
these goals, the proposed research draws on complementary methods
Reports of Findings
Click here to view some of the published and unpublished reports of the findings of the "The Sensory Marketing" project.
This research is supported by a generous grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.