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Multi-Sensory Retail

Brands are aware that they must create unique in-store experiences for their customers. One approach to this, is creating sensory engagements that will leave a lasting impression on those who visit physical retail stores.

Multi-Sensory Retail

Research has shown that sensory experiences create an emotional connection with a customer and therefore build loyalty and trust to a brand. By appealing to all five senses, physical retailers can provide an unforgettable experience that their online counterparts can’t replicate.


Sight is the most important sense for retailers, with Kissmetrics research indicating that visual cues influence buying decisions by 93%. The design of a store is fundamental in communicating your brand image and values.

Visual stimuli can be included in a store design to elevate a customer’s in-store experience. The use of digital displays and touch points are now commonly used in retail design, as they offer an opportunity to educate the customer on the brand and products.  They also add ease to the customer journey.

Tiffany has recently unveiled a new pop-up boutique in Paris with a savvy display of their luxury masterpieces.  With a curated exhibition experience, digital screens will transform throughout the year to reflect the character of the collections on display.


Smell is one of our most powerful senses; an aroma can link to a person’s long-term memory. Smell can trigger customer emotions and influence a positive retail experience. Using scents has been an effective tool that brands have used for years. Brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch pump their signature scent in-store; combined with low lighting. They were among the first to create a multi-sensory in-store experience.

L’Oreal is using technology to create an immersive experience that connects scents to emotion. Wearing a “Scent-Sation” headset, customers are offered six fragrances in a relaxed environment. Each scent tracks the customer’s reaction using the electrical impulses triggered in specific areas of the brain, which are tracked to the headset. From here, trained beauty advisors offer personal recommendations to the customer. This innovation provides a powerful customer experience, leaving a lasting brand impression.


The retail environment has adapted to engage with people’s taste buds while they shop. Many brands now include refreshments as part of their in-store experience. Coffee docks and champagne bars offer an extra level of service, to delight the customer.

French fashion brand, ba&sh, have centred their New York store around customer experience. Serving smoothies and coffees from their bespoke bar as customers browse, the offering reflects the brand and their target market. These additional services leave a lasting impression, which online shopping cannot compete with.


Listening to music while shopping can release dopamine, promote happiness, and reinforce a brand’s positive presence. However, brands must think carefully about the choice and volume of music played in-store and consider a number of important factors.

While sound may not be the sole deciding factor for making a purchase, the ambience it creates is crucial in the overall experience a customer will have in-store.


The main driver to visit physical stores is the opportunity to look at and feel products in real life before purchasing. Brands can take advantage of this and design stores allowing for product interaction.

Apple has understood this and designed its stores to encourage touch. The entire store is sleek and modern, reflecting their products and the brand’s personality. The minimalist design is focused around the products on display. Customers can pick up and test out the products, with expert staff on hand to offer advice.

By crafting a store that engages with senses, brands can develop powerful connections with their customers and have them regularly return to enjoy the experience. Our team can work with you to deliver a store with multi-sensory elements reflective of your brand. Contact us to start the discussion.


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