Tips&TricksThe secret psychology of shopping: How supermarkets manipulate you

The secret psychology of shopping: How supermarkets manipulate you

A broken wheel on a shopping trolley is not a coincidence.
A broken wheel on a shopping trolley is not a coincidence.
Images source: © Freepik | freepik

19 June 2024 13:26

Supermarkets are designed so that customers make the most significant possible purchases. The store layout and the construction of the shopping trolley are no accident; it's pure marketing. The trolley wheel is one of the significant elements that influence our decisions in the store. It sounds abstract, but after reading this post, you'll change your view on well-known chains and their clever tricks.

Shopping - usually, the plan is to buy a few products and leave the place as quickly as possible. How does it look in reality? Instead of a symbolic grocery bag, we leave the market with a full trolley and a bill totalling several hundred zlotys (about £40-£80). Why does this happen? It’s all because of the psychological tricks we are constantly subjected to. Want to know them?

Shopping is a real test for a person

Let's start from the moment you are at home and see that you are running out of a product—let's say it's bread, which you always eat for breakfast. Before leaving for the store, you see a promotional leaflet on the kitchen table, and there is a big sign saying "promotion on tangerines." Initially, you only intended to buy bread, but since tangerines are so cheap, maybe it's worth showing interest...

Before entering the store, you are greeted by a row of trolleys, which are too big for your needs, but with no other option, you pick one and head into the store. Already on your way, you feel that the trolley does not work correctly. The wheel moves gets stuck and does not work very smoothly. You are significantly slowed down and have to shuffle between aisles slowly. At this very moment, the store has you in its grip.

The slower you walk, the more products catch your eye. At the end of each aisle, you are greeted by some promotion, and as it goes with people, discounts tempt us greatly. Gradually, you fill your trolley with unnecessary goods because they are reasonably priced. Moreover, a considerable trolley gives the impression that there is little in it, and you can boldly add more items to fill it.

Pay attention to the details

Have you noticed that supermarkets lack windows and clocks? Strategists intentionally want to keep you in the store, and seeing darkness outside the window might make you want to finish shopping quickly. Another psychological trick is calm and relaxing music. Thanks to it, you become slower and walk longer between the aisles, and shopping becomes more enjoyable.

Pay attention to the arrangement of products on the shelves. What should sell "fastest" and is most expensive is usually at your eye level. Cheap products are placed low on the shelves, where few people look. The rule has one exception! Expensive sweets are placed lower so children have easier access to them. Clever, right? Such tricks end your shopping with bags full of items you don’t need. Sometimes, we even forget about the item we came for and return home without it or go to the store again, and then the story returns to square one...

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