Everyone, at some point, has gone into a supermarket with the intention of buying just a couple of items, but came out with bagfuls of shopping. It is strange, really, as you don’t need half the stuff you buy when you go into a supermarket and, yet, you can’t seem to stop yourself buying them. Even writing a list of items you need to purchase beforehand won’t necessarily stop you going overboard when you enter a store because you find yourself being seduced by all the pretty packages and signs that alert you to special offers. Before you know it, your shopping basket is full and you’ve spent much more money than you’d planned.
This is precisely what supermarkets want. They want you to get carried away with spending more money than you intended, as it increases their profits. Everything about a supermarket is designed to get you to part with your cash from the layout of the store to promotional offers, and so even the most cynical person can be manipulated. You aren’t necessarily conscious of every decision you make when you’re in a supermarket, but you can guarantee that there is someone out there creating a psychological profile of how people shop.
Indeed, it is because of studies about the way people shop that have led supermarkets to employ the services of experts to maximise the amount of money shoppers spend. You’ll therefore discover fruit and vegetables at the front of the store where you start with the best of intentions, while it tends to be aisles to your right, since most people are right-handed, that catch your eye. Companies will pay big money to have their items displayed in the most prominent places, as you tend to be automatically drawn in by products right in front of you, so that you may not look up or down and realise there are better offers to be had.
Items that are on special offer often have big yellow arrows pointing to them and labels telling you that if you buy two instead of one you could make a saving. You therefore can end up buying more items that you need just because you believe you’re getting a better deal, even though the savings may be miniscule. Buy one get one free offers might seem like a bargain, but they’re usually on junk food which you don’t really need and which you’ll no doubt end up eating more of than usual.
Packaging obviously influences the kind of purchases you make when you enter a supermarket so that you may eschew cheaper products in favour of more expensive ones simply because they look better quality, even though there is probably very little difference between the two.
It is therefore clear to see why you usually end up spending significant sums of money on food you don’t even need when you go to a supermarket where there are so many features of the store that grab your attention and get you to pick up items you didn’t even want before you entered it.