TechHow supermarkets exploit consumer psychology: The secrets revealed

How supermarkets exploit consumer psychology: The secrets revealed

Biedronka shopping trolley store
Biedronka shopping trolley store
Images source: © Money | Rafał Parczewski

20 June 2024 13:51

Supermarkets are designed to make customers spend as much as possible. The layout and construction of the store are not random but the result of a carefully developed plan. One crucial element of this plan is the wheels on the carts.

Most people do a large grocery shop at least once a week. Typically, the plan is simple: buy a few necessary items and get out as quickly as possible. In practice, however, it often ends with a full cart and a substantial bill. Why does this happen? It's all due to the psychological tricks employed by supermarkets. What exactly is going on?

Shopping is a real test for a person

Your exposure to the first tricks begins before you even enter the store. A row of carts at the entrance greets you — usually too large for your needs, but no alternative is nearby. Worse still, some have problems with the wheels — they wobble, get stuck, or do not move smoothly. And this is not a coincidence. Because of the wobbly wheel, you move slower between the aisles, which gives the store an advantage right from the start.

The slower you move, the more products can catch your eye. This is especially true since promotional offers await at the end of each aisle, and discounts are incredibly enticing. Soon, you start filling your cart with items you didn't plan to buy just because they are at attractive prices. Furthermore, the enormous cart makes it seem almost empty, so you add more products.

Pay attention to details

Have you also noticed that supermarkets rarely have windows and clocks? This is a deliberate tactic to keep you inside. The sight of darkness outside could hasten your shopping. Another psychological trick is calm, relaxing music, which encourages you to move slower and spend more time in the store, making the shopping experience more enjoyable.

Also, pay attention to the arrangement of products on the shelves. The most expensive and profitable products are at eye level, while cheaper ones are on lower shelves where we rarely look. However, there is an exception.

Expensive sweets are placed lower so that children can easily reach them. Clever, right? It's tricks like these that leave you with bags full of products you don't need. Sometimes, we even forget why we came and returned home without the required item, only to head out shopping again, repeating the cycle.

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