Most of us are generally aware of the strategically placed luxury items which regularly feature close to the checkout counter of a grocery store. These items will usually include what retail outlets sometimes refer to as “impulse buys” being chocolate, sweets and snacks. What many of us do not put much thought into is how much the remainder of the store’s layout can influence our shopping behaviour.
Much of what store owners do with regard to layout is for a shopper’s convenience but there are also several techniques which can convince us to shop for longer and purchase items which we never really set out to. With Christmas only recently passed, most of us could have run into several of these techniques without even being aware of them. They’re also not limited to grocery stores. Every retailer from jewellery stores to clothing outlets have the same goal, to have you spend as much time as possible shopping at their establishment and there are a few ways in which they can achieve this.
Mozart’s Shopping Sonata, aisle 11
Very few stores make the mistake of simply having the radio on anymore, this is because the pacing of the music is essential to your shopping mindset and a radio playlist can’t be controlled. Instead stores often look at their demographic and select slower paced music which is likely to suit the taste of those shoppers. You may find some luxury outlets or even your local supermarket playing classical music with an upbeat tempo or a selection of more recent popular hits which meet a certain criteria. Don’t hold out for dubstep though, even computer stores haven’t gotten there yet.
Follow your nose
In supermarkets, you’re likely to find the bakery quite close to the entrance and the reason is as obvious as you might have guessed – charming odours. Your conscious mind may have entered the store with a detailed shopping list, but that won’t stop the rest of your body reacting quite powerfully to environmental stimuli. The delicately wafting scent of freshly baked bread, pies and cakes will have its way with all but the most committed shopper, and retailers are well aware of it. If it’s any consolation, it probably drives the store managers to distraction all day as well.
The fresh introduction
When you enter a grocery store, you’re unlikely to be immediately greeted by bathroom supplies such as toilet paper. You’re far more likely to find yourself face to face with fresh, green produce such as vegetables and fruit. This is done to set the right first impression. While you may, in fact, have come specifically for bathroom supplies your brain automatically makes an association upon entry – “this is a clean store with fresh produce, everything within it will be clean and tantalising”.
Think of the children
If you’re a parent then store owners will consider you the decision maker, but if you bring children along they are considered influencers. Large shopping outlets, and even some smaller ones, will bear this in mind. Items tantalising to children will be placed at their eye level not yours, and often enough you’ll find intricate displays with the latest trending toys. Occasionally, these special displays will employ a gimmick to lead children to them, such as Barney the purple dinosaur’s footprints or colourful arrow cards.
There are other more complex tactics but they’re very rare in South Africa. Techniques such as falsely implying an item shortage through signs indicating that each customer can only take up to three or four of a particular item are not really conducted here. More often, our local stores play fair, if a little creatively, with us. Always remember to drive safely when making the rush to the store and to check the store’s busy days online before planning your shopping trip to avoid the rush. The layout of a shopping centre’s parking area can be hazardous in a very different way. Always try, wherever possible, to park your car on the outskirts of a parking area to lessen the chance of dings from trolleys and other vehicles rushing to fill an open bay. For additional peace of mind, compare Car Insurance options today.