Supermarket sales tricks

We unlock supermarket sales tricks and show you how to avoid spending more than you mean to.
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Supermarkets spend millions of dollars researching consumer behaviour in order to develop tactics to compel you to buy more in their stores.

CHOICE takes a look at some of the more common tricks of “trolleyology” to help avoid blowing the budget next time you grab your shopping trolley.

The path more travelled

Consumer psychologists say veering to the right when you walk into a shop is a classic biological trait, linked to most people’s preference for using their right hand.

Consumer psychologist and Senior Lecturer at Deakin University, Dr. Paul Harrison, says a store’s entry point is not the only point of significance “Research in the US has shown that shoppers who travel in an anti-clockwise direction will spend, on average, two dollars more per trip than clockwise shoppers.”

Research conducted on shopper movement patterns in-store using GPS trackers suggests people travel to some aisles only, and rarely in a systematic up-and-down pattern. Even longer, planned shopping trips follow this pattern.

The most common path to travel in-store is around the outside perimeter, dipping in and out of the aisles as needed. As a result, the ends of each aisle are the most profitable part of the store.


Like a marketplace

When you enter a big supermarket fresh fruit and veg is the first shopping zone. Although it’s not logical to have squashable fruit and veggies as the first items to pack into your trolley, this department is deliberately located to give the supermarket a positive image of being fresh and healthy.

People who use the fresh food areas also tend to spend more money in the store overall.

By setting up different “marketplace” areas, our minds are tricked into thinking we’ve visited several different stores rather than a single big shop. Each of these areas has different lighting, floor coverings and sometimes individual counters for service (such as a deli). “It’s all about creating a market-like feel,” says Harrison. “Areas such as the bakery, apart from smelling good, give the impression the supermarket is trustworthy; it’s like they’re saying, ‘you can trust us because we make stuff ’.”



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