We are highly suggestible, much more than we would be willing to admit. In fact, we perceive details of our environment that end up unconsciously influencing our “supposedly” rational decisions. For example, a room with a warmer temperature makes us more pleasant and perceives our interlocutor as a more empathetic person, while a cold room has the opposite effect.

Similarly, smells have a powerful influence on our behavior. For example, the smell of detergent makes us eat more slowly while floral scents make us better evaluate a product. This is what is known as Marketing Scents.

The traps that make us spend more money

Therefore, it is not surprising that supermarkets implement all kinds of techniques to get customers to spend more . Small details that our rational minds missed but are captured by our unconscious.

1. Big carts to be filled

Did you know that shopping carts appeared in 1938 and have gradually increased in size since then? In fact, they initially intended to make shopping easier for customers, but gradually large stores realized that the bigger they are, the more products can be placed inside. In fact, if the cart is half empty , we leave the store feeling that we are not buying enough .

2. Products: best at eye level and to the right

Inside supermarkets, the products they want us to buy are at our eye level. In this way, we can easily see them. On the contrary, the cheapest items are often at the bottom because we usually don’t pay much attention to it. In fact, sweets are often on the lower shelves, at children’s eye level, to persuade their parents to buy them. Also, the products they prefer to sell are on the right because, since most people are right-handed, they often look that way.

3. The price always includes a “9”

It’s an old trick but it still works perfectly. This is because we tend to look only at the first digit and do not count the pennies. Therefore, we believe that an item priced at 9.90 euros costs 9 euros when in reality it costs around 10 euros. In this way, we spend more, without being fully aware of it.

4. The location of commodities changes frequently

Supermarkets cannot change products too often because otherwise they will generate frustration among their customers. However, from time to time product sections change, in this way we are forced to pay more attention, the goal is to avoid automatic purchases and to draw our attention to new items that we probably do not notice .

5. The basic products are usually in the corner furthest from the store

The position of the products has a great impact on sales. Therefore, basic products, such as milk or eggs, can usually be found in the back of the store. In this way, customers are forced to walk through the entire store , and thus on their way there is the possibility that they will find other products that they did not plan to buy .

6. Expendables are found at the entrance of the store

In most supermarkets, products that are expendable are found at the entrance, such as flowers or bakery. In this way, we are more tempted to buy them because the cart is empty and they become a temptation, thanks to the visual impact. Also, did you know that the floral aroma or the smell of baked goods activate our salivary glands and make us buy more on impulse?

7. The most expensive and expendable products will always be at the cash register

Once we have finished shopping and have reached the checkout to pay, we will generally have to wait a bit. In the meantime, we’ll be looking at candy, magazines, energy bars, batteries, and chewing gum – the kind of product that you generally don’t consider when you go shopping. Curiously, they also have very high prices, but you buy them because you think you might need it or because the children convince you.

8. Discount cards and tickets increase the purchase price

Supermarkets generally offer cards that accumulate points or coupons that can be applied, to get a “discount”. However, we can only get discounts with a minimum purchase. In this way, the store ensures that the customer who initially would only spend 20 or 25 euros, will end up spending 30, to obtain the points or the discount, without any benefit for himself.

9. Stores: The bigger the better

Size counts, at least in a supermarket. It has been shown that when we are in a small and crowded store we tend to stress and buy faster, so we end up buying less. On the contrary, when we can buy more relaxed we are victims of impulsive purchases, so we end up filling the shopping cart. For this reason, the larger the surface, the less we will be stressed by the number of people in the store and we will spend more time inside.

10. Music is used to increase sales

In recent times, we can listen to music in every store or supermarket. It is not a coincidence, the rhythm of soft music has been shown to encourage us to spend more money . On the other hand, louder and more rhythmic music affects sales more. Jazz, bossa nova or remix classics are best because they relax us, make us feel good, and encourage us to spend more money. In fact, the power of music in our behavior is immense.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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