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The effect of congruence between store design and scent on consumer responses towards fashion stores

Joustra, L. (2016) The effect of congruence between store design and scent on consumer responses towards fashion stores.

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Abstract:Previous research in the environmental psychology and consumer behavior has shown positive effects of environmental features such as color, lighting and scent on consumer perceptions in retail settings. However, the effect of congruence between these environmental features in fashion stores is unknown. This study examines the effect of congruence between store design and scent on consumer responses towards fashion stores. Six moodboards of fashion stores were created, composed of a 2 (store design: dark vs. light) x 3 (scent: dark vs. light vs. neutral) between subject design with gender as moderator and processing fluency as mediator. 156 participants were asked about their perceptions regarding the store environment, the scent, intention to visit the store, emotional state (pleasure, arousal, dominance), merchandise perception, value for money and time perception. The results indicate that the use of scent positively influences consumers’ evaluation of the store, value for money, time perception and the feeling of arousal. Regarding to the congruence, congruent combinations of store design and scent lead to a better evaluation of the store than incongruent combinations. The congruence in the light condition positively influences consumers' specific evaluation of the store, general scent evaluation, time perception and the feelings of pleasure and arousal. The findings provide valuable starting points for retail managers to use scent as a sensory cue in combination with the design of fashion stores as a means to attract and please consumers.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/70439
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