• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

2010’s Biggest Conspiracy – How Supermarkets and Stores Get Us to Spend Our Money

ByLucille Wood

Feb 16, 2023

2010’s Biggest Conspiracy – How Supermarkets and Stores Get Us to Spend Our Money

Isn’t it amazing? For most of us, the weekly shop is just that; buy the food and supplies we need for the week. For the supermarket, or store if you’re American, it’s a major battle for them to get us to spend more more money every time we go in there. Using a vast array of proven psychological tricks, they normally succeed. By understanding the psychological tricks they play on all consumers, we can fight back. Here’s some of the most popular tricks all stores employ to get us to part with our hard earned money.

By far, the most prevalent and annoying trick they use is to regularly move their stock – and aisles – around, making it harder for us to find the stuff we want. The common accepted psychological reason for this is simply to get us to spend more time in the store as individuals, as the longer we stay, the more we spend. Moving regular lines to different parts of the store is just one way of doing this, as we are forced to look for what we need – passing many other aisles in the process.

Eye Level Marketing -Tthis technique is where the stores place the products with the highest profit margin at eye level. This conforms with a basic human instinct of saving time – we are apt to choose what we see first rather than physically stop and visually scan the aisles for the products we really want. Proof? The cheapest items are almost always on the lowest shelf – keeping them out of normal vision, and forcing us to physically stop and bend down to buy them when we do find them.

The Man Hater Policy – Next time you’re in a store, watch out for the men. They’ll be ‘boomeranging’. Men will buy just what they want or need, they simply turn around and walk back they way they came. The boomerang. The stores countermand this by putting popular mens lines, major items, and high profit items, at the furthest point of the aisle, forcing us to walk all the way to get what we need.

Always eat before you go shopping – The stores entice us with smells of freshly baked bread to make us feel hungry as we walk around. Hungry shoppers buy more food and make the superstore more money by buying snacks, chocolate and so on at the point of sale or the checkouts so we buy even more. Whats more, the point of sale units with chocolate and sweets (candy if you’re American) are always low down – just at the right height for children to see and hassle mom or dad for a treat on the way through the checkout. Never go shopping when you’re hungry. It’s a proven winner with the supermarkets – and a proven money loser for the consumers.

Essentials are never at the front of the store – The idea behind this is simple – it forces you to walk through the store to get what you need – and often, buying things you didn’t plan on buying on the way. Impulse purchases are very big business for all supermarkets.

The supermarkets overall strategy is simple – The longer they get us to stay in store, the more we spend. Couple that with the psychological impulse creating strategies they use while we are actually in the store makes it a surefire winner for the supermarkets – and a certain loser for the consumer.