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Girard, Anna; Lichters, Marcel; Sarstedt, Marko; Biswas, Dipayan (2019): Short- and Long-Term Effects of Nonconsciously Processed Ambient Scents in a Servicescape: Findings From Two Field Experiments. In: Journal of Service Research, Vol. 22, No. 4: pp. 440-455
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Abstract

Ambient scents are being increasingly used in different service environments. While there is emerging research on the effects of scents, almost nothing is known about the long-term effects of consumers' repeated exposure to ambient scents in a service environment as prior studies on ambient scents have been lab or field studies examining short-term effects of scent exposure only. Addressing this limitation, we examine the short- and long-term effects of ambient scents. Specifically, we present a conceptual framework for the short- and long-term effects of nonconsciously processed ambient scent in olfactory-rich servicescapes. We empirically test this framework with the help of two large-scale field experiments, conducted in collaboration with a major German railway company, in which consumers were exposed to a pleasant, nonconsciously processed scent. The first experiment demonstrates ambient scent's positive short-term effects on consumers' service perceptions. The second experiment-a longitudinal study conducted over a 4-month period-examines scent's long-term effects on consumers' reactions and demonstrates that the effects persist even when the scent has been removed from the servicescape.