Influencing Consumers’ Buying Behavior through Smell: An Abstract

Flor Esthela Morton Rodríguez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Marketing literature has studied the influence of human senses on consumption behavior and has identified several benefits for companies who considerate sensorial aspects in their products, packages, or communication. For example, previous studies have found that certain shapes of packaging can influence the perception of consumption amount and taste of products (Folkes and Matta 2004; Hoegg and Alba 2007; Wansink and Van Ittersum 2003). Other research has found that touching products can affect consumers’ perceptions about products and purchase intentions (Balaji et al. 2011; Krishna 2011; Peck and Shu 2009). Researchers have also studied the influence of background music on consumers’ behavior (Milliman 1986; Seco and Oliveira- Castro 2011). Additionally, past research has found a connection between smell and memory showing that ambient scent can increase recall and recognition of brands (Morrin and Ratneshwar 2003) and that product scent increases memory for information associated with the product (Krishna et al. 2010). It has also been found that ambient scents can improve product evaluations (Bosmans 2006; Spanenberg et al. 1996). Other research has evaluated the effects of odor congruence with the product category (Mitchell et al. 1995). In particular, this working paper focuses on the influence of smell on consumers’ online purchase behavior. Today, consumers are more inclined to use the Internet for shopping; selling online is a good opportunity for companies but it limits marketers’ ability to reach some senses such as smell and touch. Therefore, present exploratory study attempts to address a gap in the literature by evaluating the effect of a physical scented sales promotion on consumers online purchase behavior. Findings from this research are motivating for those online retailers that are limited to provide only visual and verbal stimuli to consumers through their online platforms as it shows that consumers may be stimulated by smell using scented sales promotional stimuli that are used while shopping online.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Academy of Marketing Science.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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