Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Proven effect: Music, scent and colour influence customers


For many years, retail and service industries have deployed atmospheric stimuli such as music, scent and colour in order to influence consumer behaviour. Until recently, the results of scientific studies investigating the effects have been inconclusive, impeding the formulation of conclusive generalisations. Now, following the meta-analytic recalculation of data from 66 distinct studies, a research team has successfully demonstrated that the presence of music, scent and colour produces significant positive effects on customers’ shopper behaviour.

The meta-analysis was performed on the basis of 66 experimental studies referring to 74 data samples spanning the period from 1982 to 2016, with over 15,600 participants (61 percent females), who were, on average, 33.2 years old.

The authors of the study, Holger Roschk (Department of Service Management at the Alpen-Adria-Universität), Sandra M.C. Loureiro (Business Research Unit, Universitário de Lisboa) and Jan C. Breitsohl (School of Management & Business, Aberystwyth University) recently presented their findings in the prestigious Journal of Retailing.

Summarising the results, Holger Roschk expounds: “We were able to show that predictable patterns in consumer behaviour ensue on an aggregate level following atmospheric stimulation by music, scent and colour”. The subtlety of atmospheric effects often results in customers being unaware of their exposure to them, even though their behavior is affected.

Holger Roschk goes on to say: “The results specifically reveal, for instance, that people feel more pleasure and demonstrate higher purchase intentions in retail environments enhanced with music or scent than in settings lacking these stimuli. With regard to colour effects, warm hues of orange or red emerged as activating, while cool colours like blue or violet had a positive effect on customer satisfaction.” Based on these insights, new product aisles could be decorated in colours perceived as warm, while store areas dedicated to complaint management could feature rather cooler colours.

Overall, the results of the study serve as a reliable guide for practitioners on the judicious use of atmospheric stimuli to enhance customers’ shopping experiences. Roschk concludes: “Two aspects must be considered: First, it is vital that the stimuli are tailored to the respective distinct consumption environment. Second, retail and service executives should bear in mind that the effects are generally small to medium in size, in line with the subtle nature of the atmospheric stimuli. The use of music, scent and colour should consequently be regarded as a long-term strategy.”

Roschk, H., Loureiro, S.M.C. & Breitsohl, J. (2016). Calibrating 30 Years of Experimental Research: A Meta-Analysis of the Atmospheric Effects of Music, Scent, and Color. Journal of Retailing,

Weitere Informationen:

Dr. Romy Müller | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>