Supermarket companies spend tons of money each year in marketing strategies trying to figure out how to get shoppers to buy more. Using behavioral, social and economic psychology, they discover ways to entice extra purchases – and you may never even know about it. Pay attention the next time you go shopping, and keep an eye out for these supermarket marketing strategies not to fall for.
1. Textured, Rubber Mats – Have you noticed that in some sections of the grocery store (like the produce section), there are strange rubber mats on the ground that are difficult to push your shopping cart across? These mats are there to slow you down – because when you shop at a slower pace, you buy more stuff. Keep your buggy on the tile floor instead of slogging across the mat to beat the trick.
2. Free Samples – Most humans feel uncomfortable taking something without giving something in return, and the grocery stores know this. When the nice little ladies hands you samples of energy drinks, protein bars or veggie chips – you may be inclined to make an additional purchase to even things out. Pay attention to this impulse and only buy the item if it really thrilled you.
3. Giant Shopping Carts – Does it seem like grocery carts are getting bigger? They are. Stores know that you often use the size of the cart as a meter for how much to buy. How often have you thought, the cart is full – time to go! Instead of falling for this marketing strategy, stick to a list or use a smaller basket that you have to carry.
4. Farmers Market Chalkboards – Look closely at that “handwritten” chalkboard sign in the produce section. It seems like a farmer may have scrawled the price tag during the morning delivery – and this personal connection may encourage you to buy. In reality, the chalkboard signs are mass-produced somewhere far away. Don’t let the farmers market-like appeal jiggle your emotions and loosen your wallet.
5. Slow Music – Dreamy, languid music puts you in a good mood and makes you walk slower. The longer you linger in the grocery store, the more items you will purchase. Combat the slow pace by wearing headphones and listening to your favorite upbeat tracks, which will inspire you to move faster instead of slower.
6. End Caps – It’s hard not to notice the big, loud displays on the end of each aisle. You probably assume these items are on sale or new or otherwise amazing to score such prime real estate. But end cap items are actually often priced up because of their attention-grabbing position.
7. Lines at Check Stands – Does there always seem to be a line at the checker at your grocery store? It isn’t poor scheduling, but by design. Supermarkets know that the longer you hang out near the overpriced candy, gum, drinks and magazines – the more likely you are to buy something. Resist the urge.
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