There’s many tricks supermarkets employ to get you to open your wallet. Giants like Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda have developed grocery-selling into a science, hiring competent analysts to constantly review business strategies. If Naheed and Hyperstar aren’t doing this, they can certainly copy their icons.
Nothing you see on the shelf is there by chance. The megastore layouts are meticulously planned. More expensive items are placed at adult eye-level, while colourful chocolates and treats are positioned lower, within a childrens’ reach, so that they can pick up and slip them into your trolley easily.
Supermarkets rarely have clocks or windows, so you’re floating in a pleasant, timeless zone, easily losing track of how long that quick trip to grab a necessary item was actually supposed to take. There’s plenty of distractions to keep you browsing the aisles till you’re hooked to the few extras that you never intended to buy in the first place.
The trolley is a trap! They’re oversized so that your purchases look puny in them, and you subconsciously want to ‘achieve more’ by filling up the trolley. Take a basket if you don’t actually have a shopping list, or better, go empty-handed if you just need to grab a couple of things.
Ever noticed that the staples, like milk and bread, are hidden away somewhere at the back or in some corner, so that you have to run an obstacle course of attractive ‘offers’ before you reach them? By the time you get to them, you probably have a basket full of things that got in there ‘just in case’!
Ambient lighting is the ultimate weapon of seduction, supermarkets or otherwise. The fruit and vegetables never look as fresh when you come home as they did on the market shelves. Clever lighting, that actually varies from zone to zone, depending on the items on display, plays tricks on your mind, making everything look more attractive. Colour plays a big part in market strategy. Consumers tend to associate red with discount labels, so they’ll often pick up items at regular price that have red in the packaging. And the list goes on and on…
It takes a smart customer to come out of a supermarket unscathed, carrying a bag with just what they went in to buy.