Personal Finance Management

How shops make you shop more?

Shops make you spend more over your budget. Wonder how? Read more for details:


    Almost about 50% of the things you buy in stores is off your shopping list. Have you ever noticed that?

    Shopkeepers know their customer’s psychology very well. They manipulate your minds into buying stuff even if you don’t need them.

    From supermarkets to department stores, retailers have adopted clever techniques to make you spend more.

  Stores are carefully engineered, and every aspect of the design has a highly specific purpose – from the background music to the interior wall color.

Let's begin to decode the retailers game plan 

Shops greet you with trolleys:

   It all begins at the door!! Surprised?? Yeah, At the doors! Seen those chains of huge shopping carts at the entrance of a supermarket? They are generally huge, and makes you buy more to fill in the carts! Since you do not need to carry the baggage in your hands through the store, you are at ease to fill in those carts allowing you to browse more in the racks and end up buying almost everything that the store wanted you to buy!


    They place in a lot of distractions in the racks when you walk in through the door before you actually can buy the essential products!


Shops display colorful produce at the front:

     All you notice when you enter the store is a splash of colours! They look pretty cheerful and bright,  and relaxes you and switches on your shopping mode!! You are into a full shopping mood the moment you step into the store because of their play with colours and light!


   You do tend to see an explosive play of colours of not just products but also the walls!!

   The clothing stores have mirrors installed to make the store look bigger plus adds onto reflect the light and make the store more brighter, which also makes you to select clothing immediately!


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Enchanting slow music:

  Slow music puts people to ease and make them shop leisurely and spend more. Loud music hurries them through the store and doesn’t affect sales, hence are avoided. And you thought the music playing in the background was for your enjoyment? Never! Music is carefully tailored to manipulate the customers mind and make you pick up lots of items in the stores and fill up your carts.


The big, bold red “SALE” board:


“upto 50% discount” , “SALE “ – they call catch everybody’s attention.

    This is simply a bait used by the shops to get people into the store and they are likely to buy non-sale items as well. Red coloured boards brings in a lot of attention and speedens up your mind to buy it looking at the offers!



Playing the ‘limited-period offer’ card:

  The shops simply create the illusion of an unbeatable sale. While these items may be tempting to buy on the spot, it is better to put off the item on hold. You can think through the purchase, and make sure whether it is really worth spending for. Over a week of purchase, you would actually know whether you needed it in the first place or not.


    They use limited-period offers to increase your sense of urgency in making a purchase.


   These gimmicks are also seen in online shopping sites. “only one left”, “sale for next one hour” etc., are used, this gives you lesser time to think and analyse whether you need it or not and you ultimately end up buying it!


The zig-zag arrangement of the racks:

   You would have noticed the zig-zag arrangement of racks in the shops while walking through the aisles. They act like speed bumps in your important grocery shopping, making you visit every shelve present. This arrangement creates an illusion of a bigger store, and this makes customers visit every nook and corner of the store.


    The products are also arranged here and there so that essentials are at the last and non essentials in between. This makes the customers go to each shelve for purchase and in the meanwhile would buy something out of their shopping list!


Pricey items are placed at eye level:

Whatever a  store really wants a customer to buy is placed at their eye level so that it is easier to locate, and particular items are highlighted at the end of aisles. The lower shelves will contain less expensive items.

In the kids section, the lower shelves are placed with pricey items for kids at their eye levels, like chocolates and snacks are seen in the bottom three shelves for catching the child’s attention and making it a definitive buy.  


Baked food and snacks in middle of the store:

    By the time you reach the center of the store, you would have burned down a few calories going across the aisles. It is the best place to place a food junction with colourful savouries and baked items. The aroma and the sight of the colourful food would just leave your mouth watering and tempt you to buy!😋 It is a best catch of a customer for a retailer since it creates an impulsive purchase.

Yummmmm….!!! 😋


If there is a kid along during shopping definitely the kid would ask for the goodies!! ☺


Shopping bag trick:

When a customer walks in the shop, he generally carries a trolley available at the entrance. But if only one or two items are needed, one generally carries it in the hand and the cart is avoided. Once your hand is full with two or three items, you will find an assistant next to you providing a shopping bag. Now that’s a trick. The moment you drop the items from your hands to the bag, you tend to look around and buy a few more items and fill the bag!


Checkout/billing area is loaded with tempting products:

   Shops have their most profitable area in the checkout area.By the time you have completed your rounds through the store, your self-control is effectively exhausted, a candy or a magazine next to billing area is hence a definitive buy, even the queue at the billing counter will make you look at those shelves and you end up buying a candy or two!



Layout of the store is changed sooner:

Once you get the hang of your local store and it’s maze of aisles, you get conditioned to walk up to the shelve directly without deviating. Sooner, over couple of months, you will notice that the shelves are shifted and you cannot seem to find a particular item which was usually placed in a particular area. 

It is done on purpose so that you end up spending more time in the store looking for certain items. More browsing time means more opportunities to buy non essentials as well.


Freebie offers on the total amount spent:

You would have seen these offers “Purchase for Rs.2000 and get Rs. 200 off/Free item” etc.,. Your purchase might have reached Rs. 1500-1600, but that offer might lead you to buy few more items expecting some discount or a freebie, by buying an item which was absolutely not necessary for you.
This is a profitable gimmick shops use to lure customers to purchase and spend more.


                            Finally thought of adding my own sketch of a trolley 😜

Just for fun!😜

 I decoded a few tricks shops used to manipulate the minds of the customers. Do you know of any other tricks they use? What is your opinion over these psychological tricks of the retailers over customers?



 images from

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