The Antidote to the Retail Apocalypse? Scent!

Come in, we're awesome!If you see the news, you have undoubtedly heard about “the retail apocalypse,” where brick and mortar stores are going out of business like crazy because they can’t compete with ecommerce, especially the 800-lb. gorilla, Amazon. As of late April 2018, 3,335 stores in the US closed down and 1,699 opened. If you own a retail store, or several of them, you may feel hopeless about your ability to make your store a success.

It’s true that the retail landscape is changing rapidly. But brick and mortar stores have a distinct advantage that Amazon cannot replicate: the in-store experience. While it may be more convenient to order items online, it is more fun and engaging to do it in a store. As the store owner, you have a lot of control over the atmospherics (lighting, displays, music/sounds and of course, scent). These atmospherics can create an unforgettable experience that your customers will return to again and again.

Millennials are set to become the generation to attract, with $200 billion in annual buying power in the US alone. A lot has been said about Millennials and their digital usage, but they are also very focused on having social, fun and meaningful experiences. You can use your store as a venue where young people get together and have a shared experience where they will end up buying from you.

Think about what sorts of events you can host at your store that are related to the products you sell. For example, a clothing store can host a fashion show. A kitchen store can host a cooking class. A bakery cafe can host an Alice in Wonderland-themed Mad Tea Party. Scent is an easy and affordable way to set the stage for a special, memorable and engaging event. Be sure to have plenty of Instagram-worthy visual interest too, and engage more of the senses with unique candies or background music.

Be sure to change up your events so customers don’t get bored. To make an event feel special, remember to add scent and signage. Not every event needs to be expensive; you can have a bootleg fashion show, where you take pictures (or customers take selfies) of them trying on your clothes and you post them to your website for people to vote on, giving out discount coupons to the top 3 choices. Or  you can host a game night, with a variety of board games. Before you know it, your store will be an in-demand destination!

To find out more about how to use scent for your retail events, contact your Air Esscentials representative.

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