Supermarkets advertise as though they want to help their customers save money. Coupons and special deals often attract customers into a store, but once inside, customers face an intricate web of schemes designed to get them to spend more at the checkout counter. Before shoppers know what hit them, they’re shelling out much more money than they planned.
Simple things like the shopping cart are among the tactics supermarkets use to get people to spend more. The cart makes it easy to buy large items and many items as shoppers roam the store. No one has to leave the store early because their arms are full.
Store layouts also encourage more spending. Grocers know that no one would ever go to their store to buy flowers, but they can induce purchases of such lucrative products by placing specialty departments near the door. As shoppers enter, they see attractive merchandise and – seeing their cart is empty – often give into the temptation to buy.
Smell sells; that’s what supermarkets found out. That’s why they strategically place bakeries and dining areas where customers can enjoy the aroma and become hungry. Even if they don’t buy at the bakery counter, the smell puts customers in a good mood that’s ready for good food.
Shoppers may never ask why the milk is always in the back of the supermarket, almost as far as possible from the door; but they should. Almost everyone needs to buy milk. Many people visit the supermarket to buy milk. By forcing shoppers to walk through the store on their way to the dairy section, stores hope to show them other things they might want or need to buy before going home.
Stores study how customers navigate their aisles and adjust product displays accordingly. For example, people tend to shop from the right side of a store to the left side. This means that people are more likely to see and buy items to their right. Since many shoppers walk down almost every aisle, stores can strategically place high-profit items where they are most likely to sell.
The eye is the gateway to the soul; stores know that. They also know that customers will most likely buy products that are at eye level. That’s why the expensive national brands are almost always stocked on middle shelves while the cheaper bulk items are kept down near the floor. Don’t think they do this just for adults; they put the pricey kids’ cereal at their eye level where they can see it and reach it.
The Huffington Post reports other commonly-used tactics include playing slow music, spraying mist on vegetables and fruits to make them look better, and making shopping carts bigger.