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3 Secret Strategies Behind Every Great Shopping Experience

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From the moment shoppers enter grocery stores, their shopping experience is a cunningly orchestrated process with one primary goal: get them to spend more.

Psychology plays a big role in consumer's buying behaviour, and leading retailers focus on all of the shopper’s senses including sight, smell and taste. Here's some inside information on three secret strategies behind every great in-store shopping experience:

1. A Sensory Experience

Most grocery stores focus on creating a full sensory shopping experience. Shoppers are lured in with inviting entrances and from the moment they step over the entry line their senses are activated by stimulating categories. These often include bakeries, deli's or even men and women's fragrances. These departments get shoppers in the mood to spend money on things that weren't necessarily on the shopping list.

2. The Shelf Layout

One of my favourite secrets is the psychology behind the way retailers’ stock shelves. Have you ever wondered how it's done? Just like anything else in business, suppliers battle it out for the most favourable space on shelf. The best spot for a product or brand to feature is at eye level, and this is also your most expensive space. Here are some things about the shelf layout that you didn't know:

• Top Shelves

Local brands, smaller brands, and also gourmet brands usually featured on the top shelves. Why? These items set the tone of the shelf layout. Having gourmet brands at the top can create the illusion that you have a broad range of products in-store without making your store look cluttered. Unfortunately smaller brands usually battle to get these favourable placements.

• Eye Level

"Eye level is buy level." I love this saying! This eye level spot stocks the best sellers and brand leaders. It's so effective because it is right in your line of sight and often persuades you to buy higher priced items than what you initially wanted. You will almost always find similar products for a lot less on the shelves just below eye level.

• Kids' Shelf

Just like grown-ups, children also respond to product placements, often even more so and they have the power to grow transactions. That's why these shelves are equally important. On these shelves, you will usually find products with kid appeal. Did you know that kids cereal boxes are designed in such a way that cartoon characters make eye contact with your child? This is an interesting tactic used by suppliers to drive sales.

• Bottom Shelf

On the bottom shelves, you will mostly note bulky or oversized items. Some stores even stock their private labels or house brands on the bottom shelves. Retailers know that there is no need to waste prominent space on these products, as savvy shoppers will always search for the best deal.

3. The Check-Out Aisle

As a mother, don't you just hate long queues at the grocery check-out aisles when your kids are with you? How many times have you ended up buying them sweets because they wouldn't stop nagging? If you gave in at least once before, then the retailer has accomplished their strategy, and they call it impulse buying.

There are many secret ways to encourage consumers to spend more than what they planned. These secrets are in the science behind a store’s floor plan and how consumers shop. Smart retailers know how to use this science to their advantage!

Lisa-May Krige

Operations Manager at DotActiv

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