Thursday, October 7, 2010
So much of what seems accidental in reality is very strategic. For the longest I assumed product was grouped by brands on the cereal aisle shelves when merchandizing is actually a very researched science. The Fruit Loops are stationed at four-year-old eye level for a purpose and melt downs in the checkout lane don’t just happen because it’s nap time.
Recently I was shocked to learn how retailers lure us in. And, kids aren’t the main target. They’re just used as aggravators until adults cave in. It’s as if we are giving up mind control like zombies in a 1960s movie.
Did you know we’re more likely to buy if there are free services and tastings? How many times have you bitten in to a sample at Sam’s Club and then bought the package of 144 cheese and spinach mini quiches. Hosting a party is no where in your near future and your freezer is jammed, but you put the box in your cart like the person handing out tastings will lose her job if you don’t.
Why do you think the beautiful young woman spraying perfume samples is stationed at the mall entrance of department stores? In some strange way we must believe gray hair will disappear, 20 pound will fall off, wrinkles will fade and we’ll look like her if we take a bottle home.
Scent air technology is on the rise. Researchers have found the spa is not the only place aroma therapy works. Some stores use smells to coax shoppers to open their wallets. One high end electronics retailer pumps a combination of citrus and vanilla to calm shoppers down and combat sticker shock.
Have you ever really listened to the background music in restaurants? If there’s a wait list, music is usually lively so diners will eat faster and tables will open quicker. Notice in coffee shops how the music is usually slow, mellow jazz. You might not intend to buy the second latte when you got there, but it’s so calm and peaceful and you need a break.
Merchandizers are not only calculating, they’re sneaky, so beware. It’s hard to avoid falling into their traps unless you shop with nerves of steel, ear plugs, and a nose clip.