supermarket shopping

How Psychology Affects Our Buying Decisions

In Life by eva.katona@yahoo.comLeave a Comment

You might not realise this, but when you head into a shop or supermarket to buy something, you might not be as in control of what you buy as you think.

Retail stores around the world, of all sizes, will have clever psychology plans in place to help make the maximum amount of sales. Sounds a bit sneaky we know, but ultimately, they are not tricking you as such, more guiding you when you are making your purchasing choices, and that, of course, is an entirely different thing altogether.

So, how does psychology affect our buying decisions? Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways that we might be swayed without realising.

They have sentimental and nostalgic marketing campaigns

How often have you seen an advert on the TV which really pulls at your heartstrings or takes you back to your childhood? These are not only nice messages, but are also created by a marketing team to ensure that you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. These feelings will then give you an emotional connection to the brand, service or product and make you much more likely to buy from them.

They bring out minis to make you buy more

This is particularly obvious in the beer and soda markets. Those cute little mini cans might be much easier to pass off as a treat to yourself, but the smaller size of them means that you are much more likely to buy more of them, often spending more than you would if you bought their normal sized cousins.

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Their store layout may not make much sense

Have you ever visited a strange supermarket and felt completely lost and confused? Chances are that you are not alone. Believe it or not, this is often a tactic used by larger stores to increase impulse purchases. If you end up wandering around a supermarket, not quite sure what is next, then you are more likely to stumble across those little things that you didn’t really set out to buy, this is also why deals and offers are presented on the end of aisles, as you are much more likely to see them and buy them, then if they were hidden away.

They create bulk buy deals

One common approach that retail stores take is to create bulk buy deals. These deals often look good on the surface, but they are designed to appear that way. In actual fact, if you drill down deeper into the deal, then you may find that what you perceived as a bargain because you are buying them together, isn’t that much of saving then if you bought the items separately.

Clever pricing

Ever wondered where the random 99p pricing structures come from? Well, this is all down to psychology. Ask yourself, if you were going to buy a sandwich and it was £3 or £2.99 which one would you be more likely to go for? It is likely that you would opt for the £2.99 option because it is most definitely “cheaper” however, when you think about it, there is only 1p difference in the prices. It is all to do with how we see things and how we are much more likely to see £2.99 or even £2.98 as a much better price than one that is 2p more.

They create an ambience in store

Whilst many of us now choose to shop online, there are still some things that we need to head to physical stores for. This means that we can become trapped by the ambience. There are a variety of approaches that retail stores will take to ensure that their customers are tempted into buying things. This could be pumping certain smells into the shop or perhaps playing particular music styles. There are so many out there that we couldn’t possibly list them all, however, next time you walk around a shop and smell something delicious, chances are that this aroma has actually been tailor made and pushed around to make you much more likely to buy.

Do you find psychology fascinating? Is this something that you would love to pursue? If this is true for you, then why not take a look at some of the many online psychology courses out there? Not only does distance learning mean that you can learn when suits you, but also it provides everything that you would want to know about the subject. Whether that is for your own personal interest, or to perhaps forge a future career.

This is a collaborative post.

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