Supermarket shopping may not be about price alone, but some of the biggest companies certainly apply a host of marketing tactics to aid our progression through the aisles and persuade us to make additional purchases.
Here we look at some of the top tricks of the trade.
Buy one get one free
Buy one get one free offers certainly seem tempting and if you have a certain product you like to buy then why not take advantage of the offer? However, remember that there is something in it for the retailers too. In particular, they want to make sure you keep buying that brand instead of a cheaper version; and they also want to tempt you into buying something you wouldn’t ordinarily use. So think carefully before you make a purchase and consider whether you would have bought the item anyway, and only buy big ticket items when they are on special offer.
Another trick of the trade is where supermarket items are placed. For example, many supermarkets place items that are available on “special offer” at the end of the aisle so they can be seen easily as you pass by. However, they are often kept separate from similar products so it’s worth checking the prices of similar items first before you buy. In addition, remember that many supermarkets place the most expensive items at eye level as shoppers in a hurry are likely to spend less time scanning the shelves to see what’s available. So you are likely to find bulkier and cheaper items lower down, along with cheaper own-brand products.
This tricky tactic continues with product placement – for example, have you noticed how you will often find garlic bread next to lasagna? It’s because the items are frequently bought together and so you’re more likely to make an additional purchase. Similarly, fruit and vegetables are usually placed at the front of a supermarket because it gives the impression that the store stocks fresh produce and they look better in natural light rather than artificial light. You’ll also usually find eggs and milks at the back of the store because they are seen as essentials – and so you have to walk multiple aisles to reach them, increasing the likelihood of you making additional purchases.
How to fight back
The most obvious way to fight back against these tricks is to produce a shopping list and stick to it. However, one way to reduce temptation is to buy online where products are often cheaper than they are in store and you can take advantage of additional special offers. Also remember to apply online promo codes to your purchases but use them wisely – use the voucher codes on items you were going to buy anyway, rather than making extra purchases just because they seem to offer a good deal.
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