• Enshang Shang

Student thesis: Phd


This research investigates the influence of sensory marketing on consumer shopping experience in-store through the decision-making process. The research context is the physical store of the cosmetic industry in the UK. This research adapts and extends the S-O-R (Stimulus- Organism- Response) framework to illustrate the relationship: Sensory marketing - Shopping experience in-store - Post-purchase outcomes. From an extensive literature review, there is a significant research motivation to point the category that physical stores remain critical in shaping consumer behaviour and providing unique experiences to shoppers, meanwhile, there isn’t any systematic research in sensory marketing to unveil how the cosmetic industry could design and create an engaging multisensory shopping experience in-store. Previous sensory marketing research focused on sensory stimuli from the physical store design but overlooked the sensory stimuli from the retailing staff. Although the retailing staff as the role of social cues is addressed in literature, seeing them and their services as sensory marketing stimuli is a relatively new perspective with limited research. Therefore, this study further classifies five senses: Visual, Smell, Sound, Touch and Taste, into stimuli from the physical store design and the retailing staff. The conceptual framework is tested through mixed methods: including Interviews with cosmetic organisations, Questionnaires and Interviews with cosmetic-targeted consumers. The analysis result reveals that Sensory marketing has an important influence on the Shopping experience in-store, and the overall multisensory shopping experience is significant to positive Post-purchase outcomes. Moreover, Sensory marketing is robust in predicting Post-purchase outcomes, especially the sensory stimuli from the retailing staff and their services. This research generates a new in-store decision-making process model from a sensory marketing perspective that categorised sensory stimuli into Impression - Hospitality - Engagement. Additionally, the findings of 39 sensory marketing factors in the cosmetic industry provide further insights into how to successfully build a multisensory shopping environment and servicescape. Theoretically, this research provides a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism of sensory marketing and how it affects consumer behaviour. Practically, this research benefits the cosmetic industry by highlighting the most influential sensory marketing strategies and suggestions for improving the store environment and staff service to create a positive shopping experience and post-purchase outcomes.
Date of Award1 Aug 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGianpaolo Vignali (Supervisor) & Claudia Henninger (Supervisor)


  • Sensory Marketing
  • Shopping Experience
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Cosmetic Industry

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