From The Straits Times    |

Some smells may trigger shoppers to spend moreA new study finds that when stores are scented with fragrances such as pine or citrus, customers may be more likely to part with their cash.

According to a report in LiveScience on Tuesday, the rationale is that simple smells, rather than complex ones, don’t require much mental energy to process, thereby freeing up your brain to shop and spend.

In the study, researchers from Washington State University College of Business in the US and Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen created two scents — a basic orange scent and a blended fragrance of orange, basil, and green tea. Over the course of 18 days, the researchers surveyed 400 shoppers in a home decorations store scented with one of the two scents, or no scent at all.

According to LiveScience, the 100 customers who shopped in the store fragranced with the simple scent spent on average 20 percent more money.

To further test the theory, the researchers also had students solve word problems in rooms scented with one of the two fragrances, or none at all. Students could solve more problems in less time when the air was scented with the orange scent, compared to the complex fragrance or unscented room. The findings were recently published in the Journal of Retailing.