The six important things your supermarket isn’t telling you

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that your entire shopping experience has been carefully structured to encourage you to spend more. Everything about the look, layout and presentation of your local supermarket has been designed to make you a more profitable customer: to get you in the mood to buy; to stay in the store longer; to pick the items it’s most important for them to sell.

However, it’s still easy to let a few of the simplest, cleverest techniques sneak through your defences. The following tips will help you get more bang for your buck. What other tricks have you noticed?

That background music is making you a slower shopper

A surprising amount of thought has gone into the selection of songs playing above you. The music in a store has a very measurable effect on shopping behaviour; easy listening music is just interesting enough to keep you motivated, but with a slower tempo that can subconsciously stop you from rushing.

While shopping with headphones may seem a bit antisocial, those who do it are actually making a very smart financial decision. Multiple experts have recommended bringing your own music along – ideally something faster and livelier – to get you in and out faster.

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The freshest items are at the back of the shelf

“Rotation, rotation, rotation” is a common catchphrase for many department managers. When it comes to perishable products, it’s important for staff to place the items expiring or ripening soonest at the front. While this keeps the business running smoothly, it isn’t necessarily best for you as an individual shopper.

If you want an extra day or two out of your milk, reach for the back of the row.

The best deals aren’t always at eye level

A surprising amount of thought goes into which products are displayed at eye level, and for good reason: they will sell better. Consciously or subconsciously, we simply don’t want to reach up or crouch down for a product.

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However, it’s worth considering the reasons why a product might be placed in this prime position. It’s not always about sales. Sometimes it’s simply about inventory; staff will need to get rid of a product, or hold on to one a little longer, to keep stock levels running smoothly.

If you’re shopping in a hurry, spare that extra moment to look above and below the “obvious” item. Sometimes the best product for you will be hidden in plain sight.

“Two for one” deals aren’t necessarily saving you money

Numerous studies have shown that the more food you have stockpiled at home, the faster you’ll go through it. Buying that extra product won’t make you shop less; it’s more likely to make you eat more.

Before you buy, ask yourself if you really want to consume more of that product.

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Eye-catching price labels don’t always mean “sale”

As shoppers, we’re conditioned to see an eye-catching yellow and red price tag as the sign of a sale. Read it carefully. Sometimes it will simply give the same information as a regular label. Sometimes it will be promoting a price match guarantee or broader store promotion rather than a specific discount. Read it carefully to ensure a discount amount is actually listed, and that it isn’t just a bigger, yellower label that merely implies a sale.

What other sneaky tricks have you noticed from your local supermarket?