Bright Side

9 Shopping Manipulations That Make Us Spend a Fortune Every Time

You are in a rush to get home and just want to pick up some eggs and milk from the supermarket, but they lie hidden somewhere near the edges of the store. We have all wondered about the seemingly chaotic arrangement of goods in big supermarkets. But nothing in there is chaotic. It is a well-thought out arrangement with the sole aim of increasing sales. Confused, right?

In this Bright Side article, let’s look at some of the ingenious tricks that supermarkets use to increase their sales.

1. Confusing customers on purpose.

Have you ever wondered why items that are usually purchased together aren’t placed closer to each other? That’s because supermarkets want you to look for them by strolling through the store in hopes that you’ll indulge in impulsive buying when you walk past things.

According to a report published by the Marketing Science Institute, 68% of shoppers who visited more aisles made unplanned purchases compared to 51% of those who visited fewer.

2. “Charm pricing” is a real trick.

Whenever you see a product priced at $1.99 or $399.99, the store is trying to make you think that the price is just below a round number, and that you are saving money. This phenomenon is known as the ’"left-digit effect." And studies show that “charm pricing” works, well, like a charm.

3. High-profit items are placed at eye level.

Stores place expensive and high-margin products at easy-to-view and easy-to-grab heights. And conversely, they place the lower-priced products in hard-to-reach places.

And just as with grown-ups, items for kids are placed at their eye level. So next time you hear, “Mommy, I want this!” and wonder how your kid found it without you noticing, you now know the reason.

4. The shopping carts are huge for a reason.

study found that doubling the shopping cart’s size resulted in customers buying 40% more. This is the reason why over the years, their size has been increasing. For example, at Whole Foods, the size of shopping carts have almost doubled in the past 2 years.

5. Music affects buying patterns.

A study published in the journal, Procedia Economics and Finance, found that pleasurable background music increases the chances that a buyer will spend more time and money in the store. Supermarkets also prefer to play music with slow beats in order to make you feel more relaxed and move slowly. Studies found that moving at a slower pace made customers make 29% more purchases.

6. Placing dairy products and eggs far from the entrance

Dairy and eggs are 2 of the most popular grocery store categories, and they’re always located far away from the store’s entrance. This is because the store wants you to walk past several other items as well, even if you just came to buy the bare necessities.

7. Playing with our senses

The smell of fresh baked goods and other delicious food products make you feel hungry. This tempts you into buying more food than you would have otherwise. Also, fresh fruits and vegetables are usually kept near the entrance. Their vibrant colors combined with the smell forces us to do some impulsive buying.

8. Narrowing aisles and checkout lanes

Supermarkets are huge, so why are the aisles so narrow that it’s difficult for 2 carts to move past each other? That’s because the aisles are purposefully created to slow down your walking pace so that you end up buying more things impulsively.

The checkout lanes are also purposefully narrow so that if, while unloading, you discover that there’s something that you picked up on impulse, it will be difficult for you to change your mind.

9. Placing smaller floor tiles in expensive and high-margin sections

Smaller tiles make the shopping cart’s wheels make a louder “click-clack” sound which subconsciously forces the shoppers to slow down. And as we’ve already learned, a slower walking pace means more purchases!

Which trick do you think is the most creative? If you know more marketing tricks, feel free to share them in the comments.

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