My wife and I did the usual fortnightly grocery shopping yesterday and I noticed that our grocery store (Woolworths) were changing their stock shelves to other isles. The tissues were now in isle three and the toilet duck was now two isles over, no-where near the toilet paper. Now, the thing is, if you ask them why, they will tell you that they are improving the BUYER experience. But the savvy consumer knows that this is far from the truth.
If they keep you the customer confused then they are encouraging you to walk down EVERY isle hoping you will pick up that one thing you didn’t intend buying. The same reason the milk is ALWAYS at the back of the store.
They will also tell you that the multitude of cameras throughout the store at the end of the isles is to deter shoplifters when equally we know that they use the cameras to study our shopping habits. If too many people skip an isle then they will remodel the store forcing the consumer to frequent EVERY isle.
Let’s talk about other tricks:
- In Australia we no longer have a one cent coin. But that doesn’t stop retailers from advertising a product for $19.99. Why? Because we are hardwired to read from left to right. Most of us only see nineteen not twenty. Our brain things the item is UNDER twenty dollars.
- Real-estate agents are trained to sell by eliciting emotion in the buyer because we humans like to buy stuff that makes us FEEL good, right? Hot summers day = check out that pool. The good ones will also rank the houses you want to see from bad to best. As you trudge your way from one disaster to the other, like a beam of golden light you discover THE ONE. That’s not by accident.
- I was watching a television ad last night for a cruise through Europe. The prices started at $7,295 but the announcer didn’t use the word DOLLARS or THOUSAND. He said “Only seven two nine five”. Why? Because we are hardwired to know that when we hear the word thousand, we know it’s a lot of DOLLARS.
- Retailers will promote a sale and impart a sense of urgency for customers to ACT NOW. You will see the ads on television that end with “sale ends tomorrow”. So you need to get there fast…..until the next sale ends…..and the next.
- This one really gets under my skin. Advertisement that has a sale on X for just $9.99. You jump in your car, rush down there and surprise, surprise; they just ran out. But they do have the premium/ultra/super-duper model for $59.99.
The list goes on. Take care when you shop and always know that marketing agencies around the world spend a lot of time and money working out how to keep you spending.