Ever wondered why you buy more than the items on your shopping list?
Supermarkets aren’t fun and anyone with a few years under their belts will have tried and true strategies. For example, don’t go shopping when you’re hungry or you’ll end up with more purchases than you really wanted, and don’t go on a Sunday evening when all the school mums are stocking up for the week.
And have you ever wondered why there aren’t any product-find screens at the supermarket to allow you to locate the items you don’t buy regularly, like couscous or the mint jelly? I’m guessing, but surely it’s because they want you to wander up and down aisles and probably buy extra products.
And, of course, there are assorted marketing tactics to ensure we spend as much money as possible whenever we enter.
Research from casino.org reveals some supermarket strategies are similar to those used in casinos.
Stores are designed so that brands 'control' customers' shopping experiences. Those in charge of organising the layout of supermarkets are encouraged to steer people in a counter-clockwise direction as research has shown objects to a shopper's left catch their attention more than those to the right, the Daily Mail reports.
Supermarkets, like casinos, have to appeal to wide varieties of budgets and demographics.
Higher-priced items are often placed at eye-level and the cheaper brands are positioned lower where they are harder to see to encourage customers to spend more.
Fruit and veggies
Do a mental check and you’ll no doubt find that visually attractive items, such as seasonal fruits and veggies are to the right of the supermarket entrance to pull shoppers in that direction.
Milk, eggs and bread
The essential items, such as milk, bread and eggs, are all some distance from each other. Inconvenient and annoying but again part of the strategy to get you moving around the supermarket as much as possible – and, of course, buy items you weren't intending to buy.
Research reveals that the background of the meat counter is usually a primary colour so that the fresh meat stands out more. And you might want to check whether the lighting gives the meat a rosier glow than is normal.
Promotional signs are usually put between discount items and things that aren't on sale as it makes people associate the full-priced products with the discounted ones.
The ends of the aisle are 'prime real estate' and big brands apparently play big sums to have their products placed there.
“This is because people are eight times more likely to purchase them as they stand out and they're easier to peruse,” the report says.
The report revealed that empty spaces in this area are kept to a minimum. This strategy is to make it difficult for customers to get rid of unwanted items at the last minute.
Appealing to the senses
Supermarket designers follow many of the principles that casinos hold dear. There is limited natural light, few, if any, windows, and no clocks.
“Instead of the time or sunlight, at the front of most grocery stores the senses are bombarded with the sights, smells and sounds of the three most stimulating departments: floral, produce and the bakery,” the report reads.
Are you aware of supermarkets’ strategies to encourage you to buy more? Are there other ploys you have noticed?
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