The efficiency of sensorial marketing in a digital strategy
To sell a good brand image is not always good enough: since the first instants of the exchange, the buyers’ senses are solicited to conclude the sale. Sensory stimuli are an integral part of marketing techniques. The room fragrance, the background music, the ability to touch the product and even taste it for food shops, are decisive elements in the customer’s buying action.
With the arrival of digital, rethinking sensorial marketing has become a priority. Through the internet, three of our senses cannot be completely exploited. Although innovations are starting to focus on ways of transmitting tastes and smells through technological devices, the main senses to be digitally stimulated remain sight and hearing (even if some are good transmitters to activate others).
“The term sensorial marketing includes visual, auditive, gustative, tactile and olfactory marketing.” (Reference: anthedesign.fr)
The internet has become an important part of the global commercial market; it is necessary to transport these sensorial marketing techniques to the digital world and not neglect them. If the product cannot be touched, tastes or even be smelled, how can you activate the buyers’ senses to conclude your online sales? This is what we are going to try to explain to you in this article.
Table of contents
1. How to transpose sensory marketing into a digital strategy?
The background remains the same, this will make the clients want to buy and come back. But when it comes to the form, it changes slightly. On the internet, numerous visual simulations and sounds will meet with the buyer when he navigates. That is why it is important to look after your visual communication for the development of a business. Key elements to stimulate your client and make them want to browse through your website and your products are colours that complement themselves, smooth navigation, nice visuals to look at and the diffusion of moving videos and images.
If you have a physical store, don’t hesitate to portray the same ambience as on your website. On the contrary, if you do not have a shop or workplace then have free reins. You are free to have fun and create the ambience you want to seduce your future clients. To show you a more precise idea, here is a company that has bet a maximum on sensory marketing: Lush, a famous handmade cosmetic brand. Their sensory strategy is quite smart and bold and is based on several senses:
- Sight: the design of the products is greedy with bright and tangy colours. The products are showcased and scripted according to their shapes: products sold cut to size with a butter cutting wire, placed on crockery…
- Smell: the products give off a very sweet smell up to the street. To a certain point that it is possible to smell the shop before even seeing it in some cases.
- Touch: the products are self-service put out in the shops and the brand plays with varied textures.
- Taste: the products are associated with edible products like cream, chocolate, ice cream, sweets… which activates the sense of taste through sight.
- Hearing: there is no systemic music, but the vendors speak a lot, which promotes a “market” atmosphere.
Yes, but that is in their stores, how do they do it on the internet?
Well, there too, Lush is also very clever. Their website shows off their image or sticks with the global image of the brand and of their social media. A minimalist design but an influx of products to the physical image of the shops. When we click on a product, the texture is directly visible with a close-up and a video starts showing how to use it… The images are cheerful and tangy. Everything is done to stimulate the buyer and make him want to fill his basket to test all the products himself. Products put forward with many visual simulations.
To optimally transpose sensory marketing into your digital strategy, think about the experience of your consumers. Imagine being in their place and making them live a real journey. Stimulate all the senses possible, making them want to be part of the club. If your client takes pleasure, then it is almost certain that they will return, that they will purchase again and that they will recommend you to others.
2. What are the senses to privilege to sell better online?
As discussed above, sight and hearing are the two senses of choice in a digital sensory marketing strategy. For example, for Lush, it does not mean that you cannot stimulate other senses. This depends on your products and the associated merchandising. If you sell services, once again the challenge is different. But nothing is impossible. The interest is to show your clients visually and/or sound wise the quality of your products.
“Music promotes the immersion of consumers into the website’s universe and increases their intentions to revisit and recommend to those around them.” (Reference: Mediavea.com)
- Sight: this is the easiest sense to apply. Through your visual proposals, photographs, videos, designs, etc. you will be able to convey many emotions to your buyers. Their colours and symbols are very important. For example, yellow can be the symbol of joy, red is the colour of love and passion and blue is the colour of peace and serenity. Most of the time ‘Bio or natural products’ have colours linked to the earth: beige, ochre, green, brown, etc. Each visual decision for your website, your products or your packaging is important as it sends a conscious message to the consumers. Looking after the visual aspect of your website and your products is the best way to stimulate the sense of sight. Moreover, to evoke by the image, taste, smell and touch of your products are important. Some brands even use 3D visuals to show the aspects and the textile for example.
- Sound: Hearing music call many senses. Sometimes music will make us think of a moment, a souvenir, a place. Some will even immerse us in an atmosphere conducive to shopping. Choosing your music correctly, so it correlates with the mind of your brand and your products is very important. For example, if you sell well-being and personal development services, there is a small chance that hard rock will suit your clients. (Except exceptional circumstances obviously.) On the other hand, sometimes, we don’t want to be surprised by a piece of music playing when we arrive on a website. To stimulate the hearing of your buyers despite everything, there is sound design. This technique consists in assembling different sounds to create an ambience. Museums, for example, use this technique regularly. Hearing also accompanies sight, adding little sounds linked with your identity and some actions on your website can change the global perception of your universe. The brand Porsche for example makes the engine of its Cayenne roar on its website.
The most important is to remember that a sense is not inseparable from others, and if it is impossible to stimulate the sense it is possible to pass the information through another way. Especially since digital technology has accustomed our brains to this type of gymnastics. Our tips are to think well about your strategy, taking into account your identity, your products and the messages that you wish to send are the keys to avoiding missteps. This is possible by understanding your audience and their needs.
“70% of consumers consider that the emotions count for 50% in their purchase decision.” (Reference: Smell-marketing.fr)
In conclusion, we need to remember that stimulating and activating the sense of your clients is indispensable to boost your sales. Many buyers admit that visual, sound, olfactory, tactile stimuli are responsible for a large part of their shopping desires. On the web, stimulating all the senses is sometimes a real task to take on. However, it is not impossible, and thinking about your strategy is the best way to transport the sensorial marketing technics correctly. On the internet, sight and hearing are always solicited by numerous images and sounds are present. The videos and moving images are the best way to captivate the attention of your client and to show the numerous details concerning your business and your products.
“38% of European clients stay longer thanks to the music and betters the humour of 55% of them.” (Reference: e-marketing.fr)
Put in place all the good tools to manage to exploit this communication method correctly, however need precise knowledge in the domain. Also, to act relevantly, it is important to have a professional team around. It is also primary to deploy a global strategy capable of making you live an unforgettable experience for each consumer. The continuous evolution of digital technics revolutions constantly the ways of communication. Some technologies are emerging to place smell at the heart of the brand experience: the society Inhalio for example offers USB keys that diffuse odours. In the future, it will be possible to imagine web campaigns diffusing odours to reach even more of their consumers’ senses.
Sensory marketing has not disappeared with digital, but it is reinventing itself completely, this is why it is necessary for the development of your business to take it into account. If this article has helped you to see clearer and even discover sensory marketing don’t hesitate to leave a comment to share your ideas, impressions and experiences towards this type of strategy. We would be happy to read your comment and converse with you.