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How Supermarkets Lure You In

Sabeen Malik | March 8, 2019

How many times have you gone to the supermarket for one or two things, but ended up with a whole cart full of stuff? It’s not exactly your fault. Most supermarkets have tactics to lure you in and convince you to buy more. Every part of the supermarket, from parking lot to checkout counter, is designed to make you spend more money and buy more food than you need. Supermarkets are retail nirvana, and it all starts with the shopping cart. This 1983 invention was purposely designed to let customers make larger purchases and spend more money. The shopping cart allows shoppers can put everything in it instead of carrying all of their purchases. This puts customers in a better mood and makes them more willing to shop.

Then there’s the music. According to Business Insider, certain types of music have different effects on shopper. For example, classical music leads people to buy more expensive merchandise. In this case, most stores tend to play calm music in order to slow customers down, even if they don’t realize it.

The location of items, however, is probably the most important part of these grocery store tactics. Stores place items that they want you to buy, like expensive brand name items, at eye level. Favored items are also usually placed at the end of an aisle. Most stores put their bakery and high-margin departments in the front of their store, when your cart is empty and your energy is high. The smell of these baked goods activates your salivary glands and makes you more likely to make impulse purchases. All of the bright colors and good smells make shoppers happy and willing to spend.

Supermarkets are sneaky; they are filled with tactics and temptations that can trick you into spending money. So the next time you go to the supermarket, bring a list and stick with it.

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Sabeen Malik
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