Have you ever wondered why milk is usually placed right at the back of a store? Or why you’re greeted by the enticing aroma of freshly baked bread when you walk in?
These are some of the techniques supermarkets use to get us to part with our cash. Welcome to Supermarket Psychology.
Here are the 5 most common techniques to look out for:
- Essential items such milk, eggs and bread are placed right at the back, ensuring you have to walk through the entire store whilst being presented with an array of alluring deals and offers on the way.
- Products that are appealing to your senses - flowers, fruits and baking - are placed at the front of the store so you feel happy and at ease. The better you feel, the higher the chances are that you’ll spend more time in the supermarket.
- Charm pricing - such as advertising products at £1.99 rather than £2.00 - is an effective way to make customers feel they are paying less. Our brains are exposed to thousands of prices and brand names in a supermarket. In an attempt to decipher all of it, our brain decides to only retain the first number in the sequence. Therefore £2.99 is perceived as £2.00, rather than £3.00.
- Use of the colour red. Psychologically the colour red means attraction, therefore supermarkets use this colour to draw your attention to items that they’re trying to get off the shelves. They aren’t necessarily on “sale” or great value for money.
- There are often few clocks or windows around the store. This means you are not distracted by the time or the weather, ensuring that you stay inside the supermarket for as long as possible.
And 5 simple tips to avoid supermarket psychology:
- Familiarise yourself with these tips and try to look out for them when you are in the supermarket
- Shopping online is an option, but be aware that there are also online techniques they will use to make you spend more.
- Take a shopping list and stick to it.
- Try not to shop on an empty stomach!
- See how they try to influence different groups. Supermarkets understand the influence children have when shopping with their parents.
There are many techniques supermarkets use and we discuss these more in our Made of Money workshops. To find out more about the workshops or to see if we’re running one in a centre near you, please contact the Made of Money team.