Noticing Supermarket Layout During the Pandemic
2020 brought about dramatic changes in our lifestyle due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown and stay-at-home orders have been in place in a number of countries to limit the spread of the virus. Working-from-home became a way of life for many people across industries. Consequently increased time at home means increased consumption at home, which necessarily attracts more people to homemade cooking as outside food can be pricey or even unhealthy in this sedentary lifestyle. Probably, some people started visiting supermarkets regularly to buy ingredients. Isn’t it true many of us, including myself, are getting more familiar with supermarket layout during this pandemic? The visual content above reveals some of the psychological marketing tricks that supermarkets apply to how they arrange products.
Psychological Marketing #1: Browsing Makes Us Buy More
Becoming a regular shopper at a supermarket, there are a couple of things I noticed. Firstly, browsing makes me buy more than I initially planned to buy. Especially after my local area tightened restrictions not to browse in shops, I started making lists to shop or ordering online. Then I saw a significant reduction in my grocery expenditure. And this overpaying tendency seems to be common. Why are we doing this?
The answer is, because that is what supermarkets want us to do. They set up their shelves so that we stay in longer to buy more. Some of the common supermarket psychology and shenanigans are:
- Fresh products, such as fruits and veggies, flowers and bakery, are at the front along with low priced items
- No exit is immediately available
- Products that give supermarkets biggest margins are at the eyesight-level to grab your attention
- At the end of each aisle are ‘endcaps’ which offer big specials or featured products
- Most common staple items like milk, bread, eggs etc. are generally at the back of the store so you are exposed to as many things as possible while looking for them
- Most of us are aware that impulse items like chocolates, snacks, drinks etc. are at the checkout counters to trigger the last minute buying.
Psychological Marketing #2: Change in Layout Makes Us Buy More
Another thing I noticed is that supermarket layout changes occasionally. Whether it is a minor change like shifting items to next shelves or a major change like rearranging the entire store, the change in layout happens every few months. This again is a psychological marketing strategy to make us spend more money. Obviously, we consumers have to work out where our ‘usuals’ are now among their rearranged shelves. While browsing around the aisles for our usual, we end up buying ‘new’ items that catch our eyes.
So, are they true to your usual supermarkets and do you fall for these tricks? Now that you know their strategies, you will be a better shopper!
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