The sense of smell plays a tremendous role in the experience your client has in your salon or spa, and recent studies have shown that consumers will linger 20% longer in a store that is scented than an unscented one, and they also will spend more.

Ashley Sarnicola, a scenting expert at Aroma360, recently sat down with SALON TODAY’s Stacey Soble to talk about the importance of scent in the client experience and how owners can incorporate it into their retail area to boost their sales:

SALON TODAY: What makes the sense of smell different than other senses?

Sarnicola: “For me, there is such a strong human sense connected to scent. It’s the most powerful form of memory recall attached to emotion. I think about my grandmother’s gumbo growing up. I may not want the scent of gumbo pumping through my air vents at my home, but it’s such a positive memory and fun experience—every time I smell gumbo, I think of her and her home.

“You often will travel to a five-star luxury hotel and the greatest thing about Aroma360 is those favorite experiences that you had, most likely we created the scent for that brand, and you can have it in your own home or your own business and really create that luxury at a cost-effective price.”

SALON TODAY: Recent research proves that scent can increase the chances of a consumer closing the purchase, can you talk about those results?

Sarnicola: “Absolutely. One of my favorite studies that I quote often with business owners—many are salon owners or owners of med spas—show that scent does increase revenue. It is a proven fact that clients will on average spend 50% longer in your location and will spend twice the amount of money when your space is scented. And it makes sense, right?

“A client walks in, and scent is a part of the entire experience. When a woman turns around in a salon chair, and her hair looks amazing, and she says, “Oh my gosh, what was I doing before I found you?” But at the same time, there’s this perfect, light, background-ambient sexy scent making her feel good about herself, you can’t deny that is powerful.

“And scent marketing, which is very important for owners to know, is a tax write-off. It’s a true marketing expense.”

SALON TODAY: How can a small business, like a salon, use scent to enhance the shopping experience?

Sarnicola: “We have multiple different options here at Aroma 360—we are famous for having different devices that match our owners’ square footage. It’s a very simple call. We simply ask, ‘What is your total square footage? How many HVAC units do you have? And, are they accessible?’

“We also have offer standalone scenting, but when and if possible, we recommend HVAC installation, which is an eight-minute process. Our devices are already set up for their business hours, so it’s something you don’t have to think about because they turn themselves on and off. This is luxury scenting, it should be convenient. Then, the only thing required is a monthly oil refill.”

SALON TODAY: What is an interactive scenting kiosk?

Sarnicola: “My personal new favorite device that we just launched is the interactive scenting kiosk, and it’s getting a lot of traction out there, especially with our salon owners, because it is a marketing device and a scenting machine wrapped up in one.

“I always tell my clients it looks like a giant, six-foot Android phone, but it is everything you would want for marketing all in one device. It has 43” LCD display screen—an owner can upload all their marketing videos, imagine all the beautiful before-and-after photos, you can upload your own marketing reels. You literally can plug a USB device into the back of the unit or you can go to your Dropbox right from the screen because it’s an interactive touch screen. But the powerful thing is the scent from the back of the machine pulls the client in, and so do the beautiful marketing photos and the surround sound. My favorite part is you client can go straight to the device and it’s a touch screen, so they also can book their next appointment, they can order shampoo and conditioner to be sent to their home.”

SALON TODAY: How can a business, like a salon, go about creating a scent experience?

Sarnicola: “They can contact us at Aroma 360, we can set up a personal consultation experience that meets their busy schedule. It’s a very simple call, we’re simply going to walk them through their options, and find what meets their goals, square footage and budget the best.”

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