Sneaky Supermarket Tricks of the Trade

Supermarkets have been around for a very long time and you don’t get to be that old without being wise. They spend billions on learning how customers think and feel when they’re shopping. We are all familiar with some of the basic tricks like putting enticing colourful flowers near the front or playing music that will make you spend more time in store but did you know about these tricks?

  • Putting all the essentials around the outer rim isles so we zig zag through the offers, deals and delicious looking treats to get there – filling up our basket with non-essentials as we go.
  • Constantly rearranging their stock so frequent shoppers have to search around all the isles looking for their usual products and pick up purchases on the way.
  • Stocking items they want to sell more of at eye-level. Look down and you’ll see cheaper alternatives to your usual food.
  • Putting deals at the end of the isles. If you walk into the isle the products are normally located on, you’ll find better deals anyway.
  • Only stocking items they want to sell more of in the smaller versions of their shops. Go to a megastore for your weekly shop or even better shop online!
  • Offering a big trolley for free and a smaller one for £1 deposit – so you’ll pick the big one and fill it up.
  • Price-anchoring their options. People tend to not want to be too cheap or spend too much. Price-anchoring means to put 3 options out – expensive, reasonable and cheap prices. They know people will dismiss the expensive as extortionate and the cheap as ‘not as good quality’ so they get to promote the middle product.

However, my favorite trick isn’t one that limited to supermarkets but I do spot it there often. Imagine you’re walking past and you see wraps for £1 or you see a fajita making kit for £1. You stop and think that that’s a strange offer as you clearly get more in the second one. Thinking that someone in the commercial department isn’t that bright, you pick up the second kit and walk away thinking you’ve got a good deal.

However, what they have cleverly done here is rather than give you a choice to buy nothing or the product, they’ve orchestrated it to give you a choice of A or B product whilst clearly looking to sell more of B. This trick can be used every day to get children to eat their vegetables. EG ‘Would you like carrots or broccoli?’ instead of ‘Would you like vegetables with your dinner’? Or you can use it to persuade your friends of something. EG ‘Are we going to Restaurant A or Restaurant B tonight?’ instead of ‘Do you fancy coming out tonight?’

To save money and not to fall for these tricks plan your food shop in advance and always prep a shopping list.

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