What are some psychological tricks that supermarkets use to get customers to buy more?

CLOCKS: Many methods for marketing include avoiding placing clocks or any digital displays which can give shoppers a sense of time. The goal is to never put clocks in stores because customers will lose track of other responsibilities and continue to shop for hours when their intention may have been 15 minutes had there been a few analog clocks throughout the store.

Grocery Carts: have you ever noticed how much larger grocery carts have become over the years? They have almost doubled in size compared to my grandparents time. The larger the buggy the more you will buy unconsciously whether or not you want to. ALSO have you ever noticed that there aren\’t baskets in certain stores but there are carts? This is because marketers know that if you use a basket you will be more conscious of how much money you are spending because you will feel the weight of the items and buy less. Four items in a large cart doesn’t seem like much but when you are carrying it around the store it does. It’s so simple but marketers play tricks on our sub-conscious. That’s why paying with cash helps because the action of paying is more conscious and tangible, which helps you to actually see how much money you are spending.

Price Tricks: What seems more to you – $9.99 Bread or 9.99 Bread? Your brain normally will unconsciously assume that 9.99 is less. That’s why some retailers and even owners of restaurants have abandoned the dollar sign. The dollar sign/symbol makes the number associated with money otherwise it’s just a number to us.

Placement: This one is very sneaky. Marketing specialists will put an expensive item (A) Ben and Jerry’s beside an item that is more expensive (B) Hageen Däs to make item (A) Ben and Jerrys seem reasonable. The entire purpose of item (B) Hageen Däs is to sell item (A) Ben and Jerrys. This isn’t just used in grocery stores but department stores, and even car salesmen and women will show you cars way out of your price range so that you are comfortable breaking your ceiling price and then they show you a car only a bit out of your price range because compared to the other ones you are “getting a steal”. Beware also of realtors who use this ploy.

MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL: For some this will be common sense but most people don’t realize the price system. When you are comparing items in a grocery store and trying to find the best bang for your buck, don’t just get the one on sale or the cheapest price because chances are you are wrong. Look at the CENTS PER OZ not the price tag. Say you are buying “table syrup”, and Aunt Jemima is $3.70 and 11 cents per oz but Log Cabin is $2.90 and 14 cents per oz the obviously cheaper choice seems to be the Log Cabin however Aunt Jemima will be giving you more for your money compared to what you pay for the amount of product!

Have you ever looked at the arrangement of food in a grocery store? It is designed to make you spend more money. The top shelf of a candy aisle will have the options that the older generation leans towards, such as dark chocolate, because adults are taller than adolescents. The candy a bit lower is meant to hit the eye level of the preteens so their fan favorites according to demographic will be slightly lower. Then between the waist high shelf and lower shelf will be candy favored by toddlers because they are shorter and will be seen when a child is in a buggy or at mom’s hip height. Then the least popular candies will remain at the bottom and consist of oddballs like the occasional Baby Ruth or the obscure PayDay candy bars.

Did you know you are being watched? It’s easy to tell that you are being watched constantly with the countless security cameras set up in every corner of a Target, but companies like Target actually hire people to follow around shoppers and see what items they pick up, and pay attention to their shopping habits. They will follow certain demographics and see what packaging women like most or what shoes men go for before buying the knock off brand. Creepy isn’t it? Some grocery stores even have hidden cameras inside the freezers you open to see if you are buying Eggos or Toaster Strudels. Marketers are constantly looking for what “makes people tick”. Say I am a marketer who wants to observe the spending habits of college men. I’ll hire undercover employees to follow young men and see what beer they prefer or what type of displays they are drawn to. Say my statistics show men only buy Modelo if it is placed beside Corona? That information I can give to Supermarkets when they arrange inventory.

Are you happy that TJ Maxx took back your shirt and gave you a store credit even though you lost your receipt? This is probably because they know you will spend more than what’s on your store credit shopping there anyway, that is if you even use it. Thousands of dollars of rebates and store credits go unredeemed, expire or are lost annually by customers which makes the company money. On top of that some second hand retailers have very slack return policies because they know that getting you inside will almost force you to look at what’s in stock this week. Someone who wanted to return a $15 shirt may find much more than they bargained for and leave with $100 less.

Atmosphere: Many shops are accustomed to playing slow music. Slower music encourages shoppers to slowly walk, instead of rushing, which leaves more time to spend more of your money.

Grocery stores are not what they seem! Surprised? Especially their meat sections. Have you ever ventured into the poultry department and found yourself admiring the plump chickens? The reason they look so plump might not be particularly because they are fine meat, but because these chickens are injected with water to give the illusion that you are getting more than you actually are

I SCREAM YOU SCREAM WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM! You will scream once you realize how much money you are wasting paying for air. Dreyers ice cream is one of the main offenders. Lots of the “slow churned”, or “creamy” ice cream isn’t dense because it is whipped with air. If you melted down Dreyers, and Blue Bell you would see that Dreyers has significantly less volume when melted while Blue Bell remains at primarally the same height. Cheap, cheap, cheap.


Source: Quora