Marketing tricks help a supermarket to maximize its sales figures. Therefore, such shops try to encourage customers to buy with a wide variety of tricks. From the structure of the shelves to the design and the atmosphere to the product selection – everything is designed for maximum sales of the goods. And that customers feel good. Nothing is left to chance in a well-organized supermarket. It starts with the shopping cart.
The shopping cart – several marketing tricks at once
Nothing is left to chance with shopping carts either. Therefore, there is often a frame for appropriate advertising on the front part of the shopping cart. Also decorated with advertising: the handle with which you push the shopping cart. After all, you push the shopping cart in front of you the whole time you go shopping. You can also store your goods in it. This means that the advertising placed on the front part of the shopping trolley is always in sight and you can see it – consciously and unconsciously.
The bottom of the shopping cart is also slightly curved backwards. As a result, the products tend to slide backwards while driving and the shopping cart looks emptier. Consequence: The customer tends to put more into the car.
Also a nice service: the child seat in the shopping cart. However, this is less a service than a sophisticated strategy: those who have their hands free buy more.
Not to forget the wheels from the shopping cart. These are deliberately a little more difficult to push than ordinary wheels. This should make it more difficult for the customer to run through the supermarket with his shopping cart. At the same time, you want to avoid that when the customer is standing (e.g. to take a closer look at a product), the car will roll away.
The construction of a supermarket – the famous “U”
A multitude of marketing tricks are used in the supermarket itself. It starts with the construction of the supermarket. If you look at them from a bird’s eye view, you can clearly see a “U”. This is so that the customer stays in the store as long as possible and has to go through the whole store. When you consider that especially fresh items such as milk or meat products are consumed and therefore needed every day, it is obvious why the sausage and meat counter is always at the other end of the business.
The average consumer therefore has to walk from the entrance of the supermarket all the way back to the fresh products and then all the way back to the checkout.
The customer walks the famous “U” and inevitably sees many other products on his way. This way is used intelligently by the marketing strategists in order to create as many purchase incentives as possible.
On the one hand clever, on the other hand it is also necessary that all shops have the same structure. So everyone runs the same round and usually finds their products quickly. If every store were structured differently, that would be more interesting artistically, but not economically good for business. It is also no coincidence that many stores initially present their fruit department in the best light. It looks friendlier and fresher and subliminally gives the customer a good feeling. That looks far more welcoming than a wall made of vacuum cleaner boxes. Furthermore, the fruit is also used to subconsciously calm your own conscience. Scientific studies have shown: Anyone who packs fruit at the beginning of a supermarket visit has less of a guilty conscience to access the confectionery department later, since there is already fruit in the shopping cart.
Create a flood of incentives to buy
Whether information or promotion stands, cardboard displays or other “eye-catchers”, these are all marketing tricks that want your attention. This is primarily intended to distract you from your shopping plan. The supermarket wants you to stay in business as long as possible because that increases their chances of selling. Visually, a multitude of bright signal colors rattle on you, which want to indicate a special product or a low price. This may be helpful, but it is also tempting.
Promotion stands where you can try something are not just used to advertise a specific product. The stalls are meant to hold you back and distract you from your concept. Even if you try but don’t buy anything, most of them will still lose. Why is that?
You are in a grocery store and are allowed to try something. What follows: You automatically get hungry and tend to buy more goods as you go shopping. One of the reasons why you will never find promotional stands at the checkout, but always at the beginning or at the latest in the middle of the supermarket. Cardboard stands or other structures are often used to lure you into the side aisles. Special offers or reduced goods are also happy to appear at the beginning of a side aisle so that the customer stays there. He examines the product and at the same time can take a closer look into the side aisle. The fact that there is a noticeable eye-catcher (e.g. in the form of a cardboard stand) in the middle of the side corridor is not a coincidence but should have an inviting effect on the customer.
In addition, cardboard stands are often used as an obstacle in the aisles. After all, you should take your time shopping and not just run through it.
The well-known marketing tricks also include the different price information at different times of the day. These can be implemented quickly using electronic price tags. The reasons for this are very simple and can be compared with the pricing policy at the gas stations. During peak hours, customers often do not have the time and quiet to look for bargains and thus reach for the desired product more quickly. Who will notice that the product they have bought is a few cents more expensive than usual? In contrast, at lunchtime, when, statistically speaking, pensioners tend to shop with time, the prices are mostly at the low of the day. No wonder – you have time and peace to shop, so the price is paid more attention to.
Hidden price increase
Same price = same product? The fact is: Manufacturers determine the price of their products and it is the same manufacturers who like to implement a hidden price increase. Even if the price remains the same, it often happens that the quantity in the product has decreased somewhat. The manufacturer saves a little on the content and thus makes more profit. The consumer headquarters in Hamburg repeatedly reports on the brazen attempts by the manufacturers (e.g. fake packaging of the year 2018). At this point, you can’t blame the supermarkets because this marketing trick comes from the manufacturer. The supermarket only sells the goods. Therefore, when shopping for the products, you should regularly check whether the content has remained the same.
The music in the supermarket
When it comes to marketing tricks, the music in the supermarket should of course not be missing. This pleasant music should calm you down so that you don’t rush through the corridors. With the right music in the supermarket, many customers tend to shop more. Scientific studies have shown that when music is slow, customers stay 18 percent longer and shop 38 percent more. And the day of the week is also important. The music tends to be a little more stimulating and romantic on the weekend than during the week. A supermarket wants you to take your time shopping. The longer you stay, the higher the sales opportunities. Hence the soft music; nice and quiet in the background and never intrusive.
The right lighting
The shelves in the supermarket are always specially illuminated. This is because our attention always follows the light. And so that we can focus our attention on the products available in the supermarket, they are particularly well illuminated. Special light is also used at the fresh food counter, such as fish and seafood. The cold white light should suggest to us that these products are particularly fresh and “new”.
On the other hand, on the meat or bread roll counter, warm white light with a high proportion of red is used, as the products then look particularly tasty.
Clean and shiny floor?
Of course it is nice to shop in a clean and freshly cleaned supermarket. But that’s not the only reason why the floor in the supermarket almost always looks freshly polished. Fresh shiny tiles make us feel like it might be slippery. As a result, we run a little slower and can therefore see more products.
Younger people pay less attention to this than older people. But even if only some of the customers walk through the supermarket more slowly than the rest, this has a positive effect (extrapolated to the mass) on the sales result of the supermarket.
Was that all the marketing tricks?
Under no circumstance. However, marketing tricks or promotional measures (whether obvious or hidden) are not readily disclosed. Otherwise the impression could arise that the supermarket is already trying to force its goods onto the customer. If you were to ask the owners of a supermarket chain about their sales measures, the answer would probably be both political and diplomatic at the same time: “We are always working to give the customer the best shopping experience.”
Let’s not fool ourselves. The primary goal of any supermarket is to increase sales. In the friendliest case, whether the customer really needs the goods is of secondary importance for the supermarket.
For this reason, supermarkets also use all sorts of marketing tricks so that the sales figures at the end of the month fit. But these are by no means all known tricks. Depending on the specialization of the business – whether grocery store, electronics department or clothing store – everyone works with different and very clever marketing tricks. Many of them are not obvious but rather address the customer’s subconscious. Protecting yourself against it is difficult or impossible. But if you know some of these tricks, you can shop a little more consciously or better avoid these traps.