Walk down the first aisle in the local supermarket. Items and products are organized not only in their order of relevance, but by their likelihood of purchase. Pasta sauces conveniently follow the pasta, the dairy aisle boarders the bread corner. Store products are organized by their ability to sell, the likelihood of their purchase and the quality of visual merchandising. These factors are all aimed at psychologically enticing shoppers to spend the most amount of money. These are the grounds for understanding supermarket psychology. The balance of these grounds is between cost and selling power, between marketing for impulse shoppers and those who shop for necessities.
A customer is more likely to spend a greater amount of money on something they do not necessarily need at the beginning of a shopping experience than at the end when their shopping cart is full and the total of their bill has continued to rise. This particular reasoning comes from an individual’s sense of price and value. What seems like a value at one time might not seem like such a great value later. Supermarkets work to take advantage of these senses constantly. Concurrent to this understanding, the longer a customer is in a store, the more money they will obviously spend. This is the simple mathematic basis derived from active grocery store psychology. Markets use sale bins to not only spotlight certain products and entice perceptions of value, but to also create traffic flow to keep shoppers in the store longer.
The major brand names are more-than-likely placed along eye-view, where the shopper’s natural attention is focused, while the bargain alternatives rest on the low lines and high reaches. The most popular brand items are often placed in the middle of aisles, suggesting that customers give a more complete survey of each row, encouraging traffic in a down-up-down, by-the-aisle pattern. Stores place snack candies, cheaper tabloid magazines and knickknacks by the check-out counters because they are impulse purchases with low costs. While waiting in line, some people tend to give a quick read over the tabloids and are drawn into buying a magazine. Some cannot resist the urge of a sugar tooth and purchase a chocolate bar. Every market organizes their product location differently, but the purpose is greatly the same, how can stores make customers spend the most money?
There is a method to the madness in supermarket psychology. Grocery stores all across the nation reflect target audience testing, adjust to patterns in marketing and constantly rework the benefits of price control. If changing the cost of an item from 3.05 to 2.99 is seen to have an impact on shopping tendencies, stores will build off of what customers consider a good deal. Seeing the 2 rather than the 3 can have a psychological impact on the customer. In this way, price continues to have a great deal to do with product location. The higher priced organic foods have their own area, which uninterested individuals can easily pass on the way to their next desired area. Moreover, if placing the dairy aisle at the back of the market means that most customers will have to walk through the whole store just to get their milk and butter, then it is a grocer’s success for elongating shopping experiences. Newer supermarkets are designed with these aspects taken into consideration. Next time you walk into the grocery store, take into mind the depth of supermarket psychology and the true aims of product placement.