Not everything in your grocery store is exactly as it seems. Every detail of a store is meticulously planned, from the location of the merchandise to the music on the speakers. Each of these details is designed to make you spend – or at least want to spend – as much money as you can.
You might think you’re immune to all of the store tricks in the book, but are you really? How many of these sneaky store tricks have you fallen for lately?
1. Product Placement
This is one of the most common and well-known store tricks that are designed to get you to spend money. How often have you made a “quick” trip to the store to grab a gallon of milk, only to find yourself leaving with way more than you intended? This is one of the dirtiest store tricks in the book – putting everyday essentials waaaaaay in the back of the store. Why? So you’ll walk past all of the other goodies on your way there, which could lead to you purchasing other items as well.
Placing the milk in the back of the store is only one of the sneaky store tricks involving product placement. It happens in the aisles too. If you look closely, you’ll probably notice that the pricier name brand cereals are right at eye level when you’re looking at the shelf, while the cheaper bulk brands are either up top or down below. Colorful kid friendly items are also usually at a level that can easily be seen by kids.
2. Grocery Cart Size
Since its inception, the grocery cart has grown in size. What used to be a small convenient basket on wheels is now a monstrous contraption with jiggly wheels. Larger grocery carts are sneaky store tricks that can encourage you to buy and spend more. Afterall, if you can’t fit something in your cart, how likely are you to buy it?
Many stores are now also offering smaller double decker carts, though. These are much easier to maneuver, but they don’t necessarily encourage you to buy more. Or do they? Most people now are more likely to grab a small cart rather than a small basket if they need only a few items. And, of course, we can fit more into those little carts than we can a tiny basket.
3. Entrance Displays
When you walk into your supermarket, what’s the first thing you see? Chances are it’s a large display of sale or seasonal items, a deli with delicious smelling food, or a rack of fresh flowers. So, are these store tricks, and if they are, how do they get us to buy and spend more?
Well, the large displays aren’t very secret store tricks – if they catch our attention, we’re more likely to buy them. Walking into a store with the deli in the front can make us hungrier, especially if there’s something yummy cooking. And, as we all know, we’re more likely to spend more at the grocery store if we’re hungry. But what about fresh flower displays? Studies have shown that fresh flowers can put people in better moods, which can also encourage them to spend more.
4. Spacious Aisles
Your local supermarket isn’t primarily concerned about your comfort and need for personal space. Those wide spacious aisles are sneaky store tricks to get you to spend more.
People who are crowded together tend to be more nervous and anxious. As a person’s anxiety level increases, the likelihood of them spending more money decreases. People in crowded stores generally want to get their shopping done as quickly as possible and leave. More spacious layouts, however, help prevent overcrowding and reduce anxiety levels in shoppers.
Sales aren’t sneaky store tricks to get you to spend more money! They’re designed to help save you money! Right…?
To some extent, yes. But that’s not all. Some stores have awesome sales that blow the competition out of the water from time to time. They may lose a little money on these sales, but they often gain much more by simply getting people into the store. After all, people can’t spend money if they aren’t in the store.
6. Loyalty Cards
Just like sales, most people are likely to believe that store loyalty cards are simply tools that can help them save some money and get rewarded for shopping at a particular store. However, this is one of the sneakiest store tricks of all.
Not only can your shopper loyalty card get you some great deals, discounts, and rewards, but it also keeps you coming back to the store time after time. Some loyalty cards can actually make you spend a little more during each visit too. For instance, how many times have you purchased something to get some extra “points”?