In the mood to buy? According to a new study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, people engage more with the merchandise and staff when a bookstore smells like chocolate.
Researchers in Belgium conducted a 10-day experiment at a general-interest chain bookstore, comparing customer behavior when the smell of chocolate was present to when it was not. Dispensers releasing a scent of chocolate were placed in two different locations. Researchers observed every fifth customer who came into the store, for a total of 201 customers. They observed “purchase-related” customer behaviors like looking at several books closely, reading the summaries of books, hanging out in the store, talking with staff and asking questions.
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Overall, the researchers found that patrons were twice as likely to look at multiple books closely and read what they were about when the scent was in…
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