Businesses within the retail industry are, particularly in these desperate times, always searching for a competitive edge over their rivals. Whether this be pricing, new products or the latest sales campaign, no stone is left unturned. Another such area is the use of psychological tricks to get us to put more of our money into their tills. Some are as old as retail itself, others are more recent. We ought, as consumers, to be aware of these tricks by now, but often this is not the case.
So, here is a list of classic retail psychology tricks:
The long and winding aisles
It’s annoying when you pop into the supermarket just for a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk and have to walk all the way to the far corner isn’t it? Yep, it’s done for a reason. By making you trudge past those endless rows of curry sauce, organic lettuce and frozen burgers supermarkets increase their sales. Shoppers get their heads turned and buy something else on a whim, so frankly they’ve no one else to blame but themselves.
The left-digit effect
That stack of small change you can’t get rid of? It’s because of all those $9.99 and $24.95 prices you’re so used to now. The reason we have those prices is because of the way the human brain scans numbers from left to right. By the time you reach the .99 bit, you’ve already decided this item only costs $9.
“But there’s an extr…no, no, it’s $9, definitely, we’ve seen it written down!”
Seeing as it only costs $9, you’ll think it’s a bargain and buy one. Awesome!
Special: Two for $10!!
You think you’re getting a special offer. In actual fact, you’re buying two for the price of…two! That’s right, this special offer of two for $10 replaces the normal price of $5, or two for, you guessed it, $10. Sneaky, eh?
Retailers get away with this frequently by displaying their special offers in fonts much larger than the regular price tags, and people don’t notice. Of those who do, the majority will shake their heads ruefully and continue with their shopping, leaving just a small minority of complainants, to whom the standard response is to claim internal error.
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Buy now to avoid disappointment!
Stocks are limited, so better hurry and grab that shiny product before it’s gone. Problem is, it won’t go at all. Why would a retail store deliberately not order enough of a product they know is going to be popular? Rest assured there is a warehouse somewhere within a couple of hours drive stacked to the rafters with extra supplies.
You’re not supposed to know that though, your job is just to dive in and buy without thinking. And, if several shoppers end up fighting over the last one, so much the better.
Epic something-for-nothing win!
It’s nearly Christmas and you haven’t bought all your presents yet. Panic! But wait, what’s this? That friendly retail store on the way home from work is staying open late, AND they’re offering free mince pies to shoppers as they come in. How caring!
They care alright. They care that you’ll be far more likely to spend your money in their store if they give you something for nothing. Or should that be something for something else in return?
Do these types of retail tricks make you spend more money when your shopping?
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