Supermarkets are marketing masters. They’ve studied your shopping behavior for decades.
As a result, they understand this simple fact – the longer a shopper stays in a store, the more that shopper will purchase. This explains why grocery stores have developed a variety of methods to keep you shopping longer.
Frozen Food Near the Back. Ever notice that the frozen food section is located farthest left of the store entrance? This is the last area most shoppers arrive at during the course of a normal shopping trip. If frozen foods were located near the beginning of your shopping path, you’d most likely speed through the rest of your grocery shopping before your items melted.
Where Have All the Clocks Gone? It seems that supermarkets have adopted some of the same techniques as casinos. Casinos, like supermarkets, have a vested interest in making sure you lose all sense of time, causing you to linger in the casino longer than you normally would.
This is why both casinos and supermarkets have no clocks on the their walls. Next time you’re in your local grocery store see how hard it is to actually find a clock.
Music to Slow You Down. We all know that music can affect our mood. But did you know it can also affect the way you shop? Certain types of music actually slow the heartbeat, put you in a relaxed mood, and consequently make you shop longer. Often we don’t even realize that the background music being piped into the store speaker system is having this effect on us.
Staples at the Corners. Have you ever gone into the store simply to get eggs and milk, then end up with a cart full of groceries? Supermarkets have purposefully designed it this way by placing basic staples such as bread, milk, and eggs at the farthest corners of the store. This forces you to walk past aisle upon aisle of tempting food products, dazzling promotions and special sales.
Worse yet, staples are hardly ever placed in proximity to each other but as far as way from each other as possible. Milk in one corner, bread in the far off opposite corner. This forces you to travel past even more aisles of temptations in order to get all the staples you need.
Aisle Speed Bumps. Grocery stores will do whatever it takes to slow you down. They know customers often have tunnel-vision going up and down aisles looking only for those items on their list. In order to interrupt this tunnel vision and slow down shoppers, grocery stores often place small stand-alone displays in their aisles.
These stand-alone displays jut out ever so slightly into the shoppers path. Not only can these stand-alone displays physically offer some small impediment to a customer speeding down an aisle, but they also act as mental speed bumps promoting a product a consumer may have never even noticed before!
Avoid the Time Trap
How do you fight back and stop being sucked into a supermarket time warp? Remember, grocery stores know the longer you spend in the store, the more you’ll shop. First be vigilant about how much time you’re spending shopping.
Check your watch before you enter and periodically while you’re shopping. If you need to, set your watch or cellphone alarm to go off in 30 or 40 minutes.
Alternatively, shop with a list and stick to. Vow not to be tempted to deviate from your list. Consider buying your frozen foods first which will force you to speed up the rest of your shopping.
By understanding your supermarkets time traps you can save money as well as your precious time.