Have you ever come home from the grocery store and sighed in disbelief as you look at all the things you bought that you know you really didn’t need? Have you ever wondered why that always seems to happen? I can tell you; It’s because of something called ‘In-store marketting.’
In-store marketting is a series of techniques used by companies to coerce you into buying more product, especially things you didn’t come for.
WHAT KIND OF TECHNIQUES ARE ALL OUT THERE?
Have you ever noticed how that one thing you really need seems to be at the back of the store? Simple things like eggs, milk and butter are always as far from the door as possible. This is probably the most common of in-store marketting techniques. Companies like Superstore and Sobeys always leave the basic necessities at the back of their stores so that when you go in to buy eggs for your morning omelette you have to pass all the sugary treats and extra products that you have no intention of buying, but ultimately end up grabbing anyways. They want you to see all these extra products on your way to buying the things you came for.
I love walking into a grocery store and seeing all the pizzas, fruit platters and chicken fingers they have set up right near the front entrance. Don’t you? Surprise! This is another marketting technique. Seeing these foods placed conviently near the entrance, pre-made and ready to go seems like a good thing to us, a conveniant meal already made so we don’t have to go home and cook for ourselves and our families. And that’s where we get trapped. Companies use our wishes against us because they can make even more profit putting their products in plain sight so we have easy access.
Another trick that is often used in stores is called the locking shopping cart. Certain chain stores will put technology in their floors that will lock shopping cart wheels for a second or two right when you’re walking by the products they most want you to buy. In the two second pause you have before your cart can move again, there is plenty of time for you to look around, see those delicious potato chips your family loves and grab a bag or two.
How many of you, when you have been shopping, have heard something like this; “Look mom!’ or “I want this one daddy!” Whether we like it or not, our kids are being marketted to. Grocery stores will often put the products designed for children withing easy reach for our toddlers, on the bottom few shelves. After all, who can say no to a cute little kid? When our kids want something we are far more likely to buy it, just to make them happy.
Perhaps my favorite of these techniques is the “Only two per customer sale.” This is a techique used by many stores to convince customers that there is only a limited quantity of a certain product and therefore they should stock up on whatever on-sale product is being sold at the moment. The sad truth is that usually there is a large supply of these products in a back room somewhere, just waiting to be sold.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM THIS TYPE OF MARKETTING?
So what can you do to protect yourself from in-store marketting? The best advice I could give you would be to use only cash when you are running into a store for a jug of milk or a carton of eggs. After all, if you’re using cash you don’t have the seemingly unlimited use of your credit card at your disposal. Using only cash limits the amount of money you allow yourself to spend. Another thing you can do is to be very specific in your shopping. Write a list of exactly what it is you want to buy in the store and don’t allow yourself to wander the aisles or buy unnecessary snacks.
How about the locking shopping cart trick I mentioned earlier? What can you do to stop that? It’s simple really. A lot of stores are now offering reusable shopping bags or even better, baskets are found almost everywhere. Something that you are carrying cannot force you to stop and look around. And as for having our kids in the grocery store with us, begging for some kind of candy, cereal or chips, we can always try to ration the treats we buy for them so that when the begging starts, we can look at them and say “We already have some of that at home.” It’s as simple as that.
I hope that I have been able to make you aware of a few things that are causing you to overbuy when you’re shopping and that this article and my advice will be of some help to you the next time you go out shopping. Thanks for reading! Be sure to share, comment below and follow me on Twitter!