yes, therapy helps!
The 12 psychological tricks that supermarkets use to spend more money

The 12 psychological tricks that supermarkets use to spend more money

January 17, 2022

In previous articles we tried to explain the 10 tricks that restaurants use to pay more, and we also discovered, following the discipline of consumer psychology, why you should never order the second cheapest wine on the menu.

How do we cheat in supermarkets?

Today we propose to unravel the 12 most common psychological tricks used by supermarkets and supermarkets so you end up buying more than you need.

Regardless of where you reside, department stores practice identical techniques to maximize your income. More than half of the purchases we make in supermarkets are not planned in advance , this statistic is even greater if we are going to buy together with the couple or with the children.


The strategies used by hypermarkets in order to increase their sales are almost as old as the exchange between consumer goods and money, but The discipline of marketing in the sector always evolves and new tools are generated to favor that consumers are more predisposed to spend more.

1. The cart, better if it's bigger

Right after parking in the supermarket parking lot we found the carts. But it would be good to start talking about 'cars', since their dimensions are increasing.

This invention appeared in the 30s and was quickly implemented, but the size of the cars has been increasing over the years. The motivation for this increase in dimensions is evident: The bigger the car, the harder it is to fill it , and a large part of consumers do not feel satisfied if they do not fill the cart.


2. The price, with many nines

This trick is so seen that it seems that it has no effect on the client, but it still works. Consumers are fixed on the first number but not on the cents, so an item whose price is 9.99 euros (or dollars, or any other currency) is displayed as € 9, and not as € 10.

This penny of difference qualifies the perception of how cheap or expensive a product is . In fact, in an investigation of the Colorado State University, in the USA, the participants were asked to choose between two identical pens. The first cost $ 2, while the second had a price of $ 3.99. 44% of subjects chose the 3.99 pen. So, it seems that the trick of 99 cents has not stopped being effective.

3. The items you want to buy are located at your eye level

The products that the surfaces are in charge of highlighting are those that they are most interested in selling, either because their profit margin is greater, or because it is a stock that they want to get rid of faster. To get it place them at head level, so they are more visible .


Other items that could be an alternative to shopping are more hidden, they cost more to find, and that is uncomfortable for any consumer. On the other hand, not all eyes are at the same height, and stores know it. They know that children have great power to convince their parents to buy some products in particular, and for this reason they place items such as toys and treats at the height of small consumers.

4. The essential items are always in the most remote corner of the surface

Another traditional technique in the organizational arrangement of hypermarkets is to place the products of basic need, such as eggs, milk or vegetables, in the back of the store. Being these products that everyone will acquire, they will be obliged to cover the entire surface, finding multiple product offers that they had not planned to buy before.

5. The expendable products are in the entrance

Those items that provide a higher rate of profit, such as flowers, pastries and precooked dishes, are usually found at the supermarket entrance.

The reason for this strategy is that they are items that are consumed at the moment, its visual impact is great and consumers tend to allow it , even more so if the cart is still empty.

6. The boxes to charge are located on the left

90% of people are right-handed and the natural tendency is for them to circulate on the right. The medium and large surfaces are designed so that the consumer walks in the anti-clockwise direction and travel as many aisles as possible before paying in cash.

The longer the tour and the longer the customer is in the store, the greater the cost will be.

7. Change the location of commodities periodically

When a user already knows the distribution of the supermarket and You already know where to go to pick up the products you need , is when the distribution of the supermarket changes.

The supermarket ensures in this way that the customer walks for more time in all corridors, finding items that can be decided to acquire.

8. The figure of the kind dependent

Although the kindness of the dependent seems more than other times and nowadays a much cooler and professional behavior is styled (consistent with the change in the nature of labor relations and consumption habits), the fact is that some more sophisticated surfaces , like the stores Manzana, they are full of employees with extensive knowledge who do not charge sales commission and are responsible for answering all the doubts or problems of the clients without making use of invasive marketing techniques.

This exclusive and friendly treatment is a marketing strategy more , especially on surfaces that sell high-priced items with a large profit margin.

9. Plastic bags and pollution

One of the main state supermarket chains announced years ago that they would start charging for plastic bags, since it was a commitment of the company to care for the environment. It was a widely disseminated campaign.

However, the motivation of this campaign was not so much the ecologism of the macro-company, but simply be able to monetize an "article" that was previously delivered "free" . They were also in charge of offering reusable bags with which to obtain extra income, with its logo printed very large, thus getting free publicity. A strategy of assured profit.

10. The reduced products, distributed in a chaotic way

If you want to find truly discounted items, it is going to be necessary that you search and search. The supermarkets have turned the liquidation product spaces into a chaos of articles thrown and dumped. The technical reason for this practice is that The consumer understands the search for these bargains as a game, as if you were trying to unearth a treasure.

If you are able to find an item that is not defective or worn, you will feel the need to buy it. These sections are designed for consumers with low purchasing power and plenty of free time. If, on the other hand, you have a good salary but little free time, you will be able to find all the articles perfectly ordered and much more expensive in the main shelves.

11. "We bring you the purchase home, for free"

The home delivery service of the purchase in the supermarket is booming, free of charge. This implies making a purchase of a minimum value, for example, of € 50.

If your intention was to make a purchase of € 30, you must spend the remaining € 20 on something, Probably you do not need it urgently, so they can bring it home.

12. Final colophon: the products of the boxes

After you walk around the supermarket and bring a car full of articles, there is still something you can try to sell: chewing gum, sweets, magazines, energy bars ...

These products are not of great value, but are those that proportionally report the highest rate of benefit to the surface . In the world of consumer psychology, these types of articles fulfill a function of the icing on the cake: some batteries that I will surely need; These chewing gums I like, these goodies for when the nephews come home ... The surface is always attentive to these techniques to sell you everything they can.

And there is not the thing ...

Of course, There are many more tricks that supermarkets use to try to spend more of what you had planned. Have you detected any other psychological strategy focused on incentivizing consumption? You can send it to us in the comments section.


Top 10 Grocery Store Tricks to Get You to Buy More (January 2022).


Similar Articles