When it comes to supermarkets, it may not surprise you to know they cleverly use behavioural economics research to design the optimal shopping experience… but for you, or for them? When you walk into a supermarket, the game begins between you and the sales/marketing team who designed that supermarket.
Your goal is usually to get in and out with the groceries that you need in the shortest amount of time possible.
Their goal is to influence your buying and get you to spend as much money as possible.
By being savvy about supermarket sales strategies, you could save yourself both time and money.
As busy people with competing priorities, setting the time aside to do the shopping can be quite challenging (especially if you're shopping with children). So when you first step into the supermarket, you'll probably want to get the experience over and done with as quickly as possible.
Most trolleys that you find today in supermarkets are much larger in size than they used to be. The psychology behind this is that the bigger the trolley, the more likely you are to fill it.
Once you have negotiated your trolley selection, the first thing that confronts you in a supermarket is often the bakery and fresh produce sections, as well as some ambient music playing over the internal speakers. The smell of freshly baked goods, the brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, and the often slow tempo music are all attempts to elicit two main responses, relaxation and hunger. Studies have shown that these things can influence your spending behaviour.
Have you ever had to pick up some mid-week supplies, such as bread and milk, and found yourself with a few extra items when you reach the checkout? By placing essential items, such bread and milk, at different ends of a store, you have to walk through other departments to get to what you want - and often casually pick up other items that you see along the way.
Not to mention, supermarkets employ every tactic in the book when it comes to displays and general product placement to distract you on your path between them. Here are a few to be mindful of:
You made it to the end, albeit probably with a little more in your trolley than expected. But wait, what about those chocolates, magazines, and chewing gum that are just within arm’s reach? This is one of the last attempts to get you to purchase more items. Having children in tow usually makes these even harder to avoid.
Thought goes into every little detail of a supermarket, all to make you hand over more of your hard earned cash. So when you do your next grocery shop take some time to be mindful of all these different tactics – you might just find that you spend less and save more.
Lastly, we leave you with a few handy tips for your next shop:
Source: Financial Planning Knowledge Centre
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