Supermarket Science: 5 Consumer Tricks Used By Supermarkets To Boost Revenue

Supermarkets are one of the best things about modern living. The convenience of finding all those food items under one roof is far too tempting for people to pass up on. On the surface, the supermarket may seem just like any other retail business. However, privately owned and chain supermarket stores have a few tricks up their sleeves to ensure good sales figures. Here are 5 ways supermarkets boost revenue without spending money on advertising.

Fresh produce goes right at the front

It is said that the first impression is the most important and supermarkets certainly take it very seriously. Every supermarket wants to present itself as wholesome; a haven where their customers can pick out foods that are good for their health. With this in mind, supermarkets ensure that the fresh produce section is located right at the entrance and is the first thing you see as soon as you step in. Instead of using regular lights in the produce section, special tungsten bulbs are used to make sure that the fruits and vegetables glow in all their glory. In addition, misting systems are used to give the produce a ‘just picked’ appearance.

Milk and eggs go all the way back

Ever wondered why you have to make your way through the entire supermarket just to pick up a carton of milk? Turns out, there is a very good reason why essential items like milk and eggs are placed all the way at the back. These are the items that people purchase most frequently and it isn’t in the supermarket’s best financial interest to have customers leaving having bought only milk and eggs. Placing these items at the very back of the store ensures that you are exposed to as many products and brands as possible. Once you see the stocked shelves, who knows, you might just be tempted into buying something else that wasn’t on your shopping list originally.

The bakery does more than you think

Pretty much every supermarket nowadays has a bakery in the premises. As people become increasingly conscious about nutrition and what they put into their body, there is a greater demand for freshly made products. Instead of buying bread that was made and packaged in a factory, many people prefer paying that little bit extra for a loaf of freshly baked bread. Not to mention, artisan breads taste good only when you buy them fresh from the oven. In order to meet customer demands, supermarkets started building bakeries to help them move more products. However, having a bakery in a supermarket has an additional advantage. Research has shown that the aroma from the bakery causes people to shop for more than what they initially planned to. Researchers noted that many customers would enter the supermarket, smell the aroma from the bakery and get hungry, thus buying more ready to eat foods and snacks.

Perishables on the perimeter

The next time you go to the supermarket, observe how all the meat and other perishable products are placed, in relation to boxed and canned goods. You will see that all perishable items are placed on the perimeter, with the central aisles dedicated to things like cereal, sodas and party supplies. Why do all the supermarkets follow this format? To be honest, no one knows. Researchers did a study in which the format was reversed and perishable items were placed in the central aisles. Those supermarkets saw a noticeable drop in sales figures, although nobody can explain why. Once the original format was restored, with the perishable food display units on the perimeter, the sales picked up again. This is one supermarket mystery that still eludes the best minds in the business.

Perplexing paradigm of product pricing

We reach for the flyers to see what deals are on at the supermarket, but never give a thought to how the pricing process works. With seemingly everything at the store on sale, how do these supermarkets make any money! As it turns out, product pricing is both, an art and a science. Supermarkets place various products into different categories and alter prices based upon a number of factors, including which day of the week or which season it is. In fact, supermarkets will willingly take a hit on cheaper items in order to draw customers in. Once they are in and shopping, the regularly priced items also fly off the shelves.

The next time you are the supermarket, observe how these 5 factors combine to create the consumer’s shopping experience.

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This article is authored by Ryan Berger, a customer relationship manager at Fresh Produce Displays, leading provider of food display services. When Ryan is not working, he loves to play the piano and volunteers at the local center for underprivileged youths.

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