They have ways of making you spend

Are you familiar with the situation where your good intentions were to only make some practical and economical purchases from the sale, but you ended up with shopping bags full of everything else – at normal price, of course! Or when you went to Ikea to buy some candles and found yourself dragging two big blue bags back home with you and noticed that you actually forgot the candles? Well, I certainly am. I do consider myself quite a rational shopper and as I´ve been working as a visual merchandiser for years I really should know all the tricks they play on us – and still get fooled. So what the heck happens in the store?

Did you know there is actually a whole branch of people planning how to get you to open your wallet after you finally enter the physical store? As the advertisers have done their job when you step into the store, shopper marketers job is only beginning. Marcus Evans, the director of a shopper marketing agency in Dubai, says: “We are the ones who change attitude into action. You can have the most beautiful branding in the world, but if people don’t pick your product off the shelves, it’s a waste of time.”

And the shopper marketers and the visual merchandisers have really done their homework in consumer behavior. If you are in the target group of the store, they know how to make the shopping experience especially nice just for you. With lights, colors, floor materials, music and perfumes they create an atmosphere where you feel comfortable enough to start familiarizing yourself with the products. They do give you space while you enter, so it won’t be too scary. They direct your journey with aisles, mirrors and walls. Sometimes they even make you go around in a labyrinth so that you won’t miss a thing.

Maybe you have noticed that there´s often a really good bargain near the entry? Of course it´s there to tempt you in, but it also has another important role: to make you spend more. Ikea calls these cheap products “open-the-wallet” products; once you´ve picked one you need to go through the cashier desk anyway, so why not look around and see if there´s something else that you need. How the other products are placed isn´t exactly a coincidence either, the ones you see first are the ones they want you to choose, not necessarily the most expensive ones but those with the best profit. These are often stores own brands and highlighted in every possible way. Or have you ever managed to get out of the K-Market without any Pirkka- products in your basket?

Finally there is the cashier area, with all the little goodies that you minutes ago didn´t know you needed: socks (well those are always disappearing anyway), chocolate bars (to bring back your energy after serious shopping) and tape rollers of course (those you buy every time, and never remember that you already have five at home). And as you are happily out of the store, with your socks and chocolates and probably some other items as well, you might feel that you were lucky, that you happened to be in the right place at the right time and made a bargain.

Well, think again.


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8 Responses to They have ways of making you spend

  1. metsapeiju says:

    Now you’re talking – about professional marketing designers who are capable cutting down our personal assumptions of rational behaviour! That is called true expertise:)

  2. tuijasivula says:

    How true is all you wrote. Nearly everyone knows what they need when theys step in store but they lost they menory when they are in. There is too much choises nowadays, most of things are we don’t really need. How many times I lived trough situation that I have in my bags things I didn’t planned to buy but forgotten the thing I went to store. I hope I remeber this blog when I next time go to shopping.

    • riiamarika says:

      And new needs just pop up one after another when the shopper marketers have done their work well, can´t fight that.. I´ve found out that the best way for me to be a rational shopper is simply to keep out of the store 🙂

  3. raisavarsta says:

    Wow, have you observed my “short” visits to Ikea? 😉 I certainly discovered myself from this post. But what is it actually that makes us to do the same (mistake) over and over again? I think we are at least partly victims of our own genes, look ( only available in finnish unfortunatelly).

    • riiamarika says:

      So hoarding is actually our genetical way of surviving 🙂

      I had a intresting discussion at home one night about which comes first the customers need for the product or the product that rises the need. Don´t know if there is right answer to this but i´m voting for the latter one.

  4. eevateinila says:

    This is so true! If you can come out of Ikea buying nothing, then something is wrong 😀 Man, these people know what they are doing.

  5. ajokinen says:

    You hit the point here! wery good writing. I work at shop and we think these things when putting up a big sales. It sure isn´t by accsident that the new cd from that world star whos playing a gig tomorrow in olympic stadium, is playing in the store when you come to buy your daily cosmetics or something else. and whoops there is allso a huge stand for that cd too so you wont miss it 😉 and at home your happy when listening your new cd and didn´t forget the batteries you didn´t need

  6. Frida says:

    And if you somehow manage to get through the cashier line of Ikea without buying anything, you at least have to stop and buy an ice-cream or hotdog (even if you aren’t hungry) just because it is so cheap and the smell is so good and you see all the others enjoying them.

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