Techniques that supermarkets use to encourage spending

With the average UK consumer making 221 trips to the supermarket every year, there’s plenty of opportunity for these stores to make use of clever ways to increase consumer spend. In fact, millions has been invested to figure out how to make shoppers buy more.


Just the way that stores are designed can increase the amount a customer will spend. For example, many supermarkets encourage impulse buys by stocking magazines and chocolate or chewing gum at the checkouts. Special offers are often at the end of an aisle so they get maximum visibility, as discussed in The Independent, and this clever tactic could be amplified by the use of digital signage.

Another method is placement of fruit and vegetables. These items are often at the front of store, which arguably doesn’t make sense, as they’re more likely to get bruised. However, it has been shown that shoppers are in a better mood if they buy healthy food first and more likely to pick up treats as they go round.

Appealing to all senses

Supermarkets utilise marketing for all the senses to encourage purchases. Some are well known, such as having a bakery to give the smell of freshly baked bread permeating the entire store, driving baked goods sales. There is clearly a lot to look at in these stores, with food on all sides and premium products placed at eye level. Moodmedia provide digital signage that can enhance this effect. Music also has a significant impact on shopping behaviour and it appears that playing slow music means people move more slowly and spend longer on their shop. In terms of taste, free food samples can hugely increase sales of a product.


With data from Kantar Worldpanel indicating 40{61b3d31998176e5dceb856580a549ae810c3a1adebdea297a49ad24371ab867d} of groceries sold in the UK are on promotion, it’s clear consumers are lured by a bargain, but it appears supermarkets sometimes use inventive pricing strategies to encourage spending. Multibuy deals are popular, but shoppers can be tempted even if the individual items have increased in price prior to the offer. It can be difficult for customers to compare product prices accurately when shops show some item prices in kilograms and others in grams.

With this many tricks up their sleeves, it’s no wonder there are so many trips to the supermarket every year for the average consumer.