We are all educated consumers and we all have shopping lists we follow. However, we always find ourselves grabbing those 3-5 extra unplanned products.
The richness and variety found in supermarkets is irresistible. As human beings we are faced with many attractive and seductive products aiming at our most basic needs. That, however, is not the whole story. Supermarkets employ a variety of marketing tricks to emphasizes that richness and tickle our buying bones.
According to marketing experts some 75% of our decisions are actually made in the store itself. Consumers usually buy 30% more then they’ve planned on.
What are the basic marketing tricks used by Supermarkets? These can be roughly divided into two categories: Location and attractiveness.
Supermarket layout is carefully planned to fit sale forecasts, profitability and more per store space. Usually more popular products will be sold at the store’s perimeter in corners thus making us travel the length and width of the store. Dairy products will always be located as far away as possible from the entrance. Products of large volumes will also be located farthest away to avoid a quickly filling cart space. Buying out of impulse often happens at the registers. These are obviously packed with sweets, batteries, shaving accessories and more.
Naturally, we focus on what lies in front of us. Supermarkets have perfected the art of organizing store and shelf space. More attractive and selling products will always be located on you right and at eye level. Cheaper products, usually of the same quality, will be located either very low or very high. Low shelves are also often used to attract children at their eye level. Another worst nightmare of buying with children is the surprising convenience in which candy is often located just across from breakfast cereals. Furthermore, Supermarkets often shuffle shelve space in order to make shoppers search for regular products thus exposing them to more options.
As aforementioned the majority of our decisions are made in the supermarket itself. As most people’s lists are very basic the appearance and organization of products in the supermarket affect our shopping. Say I’ve the following products on my list: Bread, Coffee, Cereals etc. Which brand? How much? We get our answers looking to the shelves.
Supermarkets employ a whole variety marketing tools affecting all senses: Atmosphere, Music, Colors and smells. A Supermarket’s bakery and deli are not very profitable sections. However, in terms of shopping experience these are invaluable. Fresh smelling bread or the sights of cheese and sausages are excellent marketing tools for the store. Slow gentle music is often played in order to encourage you to walk slowly and browse more.
Awareness is the first step in avoidance. Look for these marketing traps in your regular store and learn to avoid popular techniques to influence you shopping.