super marketYou think that you visit super market to make your desired purchases.  You walk in with your purchase list but your purchase decisions are controlled and influenced by the Supermarket.  Everything and anything in the Supermarket is designed to influence you to spend more time and make extra purchases.  Let me share how ?

  1. ENTRANCE – 10 FEET SPACE: As you walk into supermarket, it is easy to enter either through automatic door or open entrance.  Further you will notice that there is at least 10 feet of open space.  Because as you enter the super market the space helps you to orient yourself and promptly move to purchases.
  2. BIGGER ISLE SPACE: There is bigger isle space between the shelves.  The smaller space encourages you to walk faster whereas bigger space encourages you to slow down and look around for additional purchases
  3. OPEN SPACE: That is why when you enter perfumery or electronic section the space immediately opens up triggering you to slowdown and make impulse purchases.
  4. SHOPPING TROLLEYS: In the past 1 decade the size of trolley has increased by 40%.  In few supermarkets the trolleys are available at a AED 1.00 cost whereas larger trolleys are free to drive.
  5. FRESH: Fresh flowers and fresh fruits are kept closer to the entrance giving you the feeling that everything is fresh and inviting.  And plant subliminal influence to spend.  Imagine how would you feel if toiletry is kept around the entrance?
  6. CRUSHED ICE: The sea food is kept with crushed ice giving symbolic message that it’s fresh and please make a purchase.
  7. CARTONS /GREEN BOXES: Fruits vegetables are stacked along cartons or green boxes giving you the feeling that you are purchasing fresh and from direct sources.
  8. CHECK OUT : Open boxes of chocolates and cigarettes are kept closer to the check out to encourage small spending that has bigger  profit margins.
  9. EYE LEVEL SHELF:  High margin items are kept at eye level on shelves whereas low margin  items are kept above/lower the eye level shelves ie. Upper shelf or lower shelf.  Kids’ stuff such as chocolates, candies and others are kept at low level shelves to allow quick access for kids and this is called PESTER POWER. Caveat always check low shelf items they contain high value but low margin items.
  10. ITEM LAYOUT : In general items around the perimeter are whole food, healthy food, real food and items paid up by the vendors to get that space whereas in the center is processed  and high margin products.
  11. MUSIC: Few outlets use music to influence subliminal.  Such as sound of sizzle when in camping goods section.  Sound of kids giggling and laughing when in sweet goodies section.
  12. PLACEMENTS: Goods are placed with face forward and aligned on the shelf to give a magnetic pull and feel.
  13. POWER GOODS:  such as Milk, Yogurt, meat are kept right at the rear to encourage customers to walk the whole length  of supermarket and make impulse purchases.
  14. COLOURS: play an important role. Red & Yellow colour gets our attention, Green says freshness and Blue evokes Trust hormones.  Marketers’ subtlety uses the colour to influence our purchases.
  15. BOGOF: Buy one get one free is prominently used in the power isle ( Perimeters)  to attract impulse buying.  And this makes the customer believe that they are getting value in the supermarket and emotions are triggered to make additional purchase.

ADVISE: Never shop when you are hungry.  Carry a list of items you want to purchase and avoid impulse buying; if possible leave your kids at home.  Finally be aware of the subliminal influence exerted by design and layout of the supermarkets.  Research says that an average shopper in America spends around 25,413 hours of his life time in retail stores which is equivalent to 3 years of your life.  And this trend is common across the globe wherever supermarkets exists.  So be aware of the influencers and spend your money and time wisely.