Increase in-store dwell time: 5 clever strategies to enhance the shopping experience

Do you plan to open a shop or to rearrange or redesign your store? Maybe you just want to add that certain something so that customers stay longer – and ultimately buy more? If that is what you want, all you have to do is make the right changes.

For many years, market studies have been investigating the behaviour of customers in supermarkets, boutiques, restaurants and other sales areas. Over time, five strategies have emerged that are particularly effective at attracting the attention of new customers, motivating former buyers to return and inviting current visitors to linger. Read on to learn how you can use these research results and apply the strategies for your business.

Strategy No. 1: Let the music speak for itself

Music makes the crucial difference in your saleroom, no matter which industry you belong to! The choice of the ideal music differs depending on your brand image and the target group you want to address. In general, melodies in major keys raise the mood, increase dwell time and stimulate spontaneous purchases. In addition, the music should not be too loud, should be perceived as “good music” and should fit the environment and the occasion. A hip fashion store can play hip hop or electro music, while customers of a pizzeria most likely prefer authentic Italian music.

Strategy No. 2: Diffuse some good fragrance

Just like music, the scents in a store are an important aspect of the feel-good experience. This is particularly true in business sectors where the scent of the products is important, such as food, beauty products or for florists. Even if it does not come from the offered goods, a good fragrance lifts the mood of the customers. However, bad, obtrusive or overburdened odours – possibly caused by the numerous customers themselves – are unpleasant and scare off the visitors. In addition, a well-known fragrance can increase the recognition factor of a brand directly at the entrance and immediately convey a good feeling to the customer.

Do not neglect this instrument. Today, there is even a specialised branch called scent marketing, which helps you to literally spread good mood in your business.

Strategy No. 3: Choose the right colours

Our brain processes visual stimuli in store design, such as those transmitted with the support of digital signage screens, 60,000 times faster than written or spoken words. The colours in which your rooms are designed to influence the customer’s psyche long before they can read what you have to offer.

Bright colours have a lively effect. They go well with toys and other products for children. Muted or shiny colours symbolize elegance and high quality – they tend to appeal to adults. Orange radiates friendliness, blue stands for reliability, green for health and growth. What values does your brand convey? Find out and design your salesroom accordingly – or consciously break expectations to attract attention.

Strategy No. 4: Give your customers the chance to try

In a store that sells clothing, it is needless to say that customers want to try the product on. They want to feel the material and see how the cut and the colour suits them. Before that, they rarely make a purchase decision.

However, customers also feel more comfortable in other shops if they are allowed to test something: If you offer cosmetics or similar products, always provide a tester. If you run a bookstore, let your customers browse through the pages. If you are working in the food sector, offer samples. This makes customers curious and lets them feel more confident about their purchases.

Strategy No. 5: Rely on friendly, unobtrusive employees

The employee factor is not directly related to setting up your store, but it is just as important. Imagine yourself being a customer in your shop. How would you like to be treated? Most shop visitors appreciate employees who can answer their questions, but otherwise, do not impose their help and recommendations. If a customer buys a product that is so obtrusively praised out of courtesy, he will not feel comfortable with it and may not come back. In addition to behaviour, you can also contribute to well-being with the appearance of your staff: a well-groomed appearance, clothing that matches the brand and the prevailing mood have just as much effect on the feeling of the visitors as suitably selected background music.


Customers who feel comfortable in a salesroom stay longer and buy more, including spontaneous purchases. Five methods play an important role in making shopping a pleasant experience:

  1. Play stimulating music. Happy melodies usually have the best effect, but above all, they must match the company.
  2. Make sure it smells pleasant in your business. Fragrance has a strong, subconscious effect on our feelings.
  3. Design your rooms in the right colour. This way you support recognition and an individual atmosphere.
  4. Allow the customer to pick up or try out the products offered. This increases the probability of a purchase.
  5. Pay attention to the behaviour of your employees, because this also affects the well-being of your customers. Your employees should be friendly, but not obtrusive.

If you combine all these strategies, interested shoppers will enter your store full of expectations and leave as satisfied customers.