You probably would have been to supermarkets a dozen of times and would have also seen Chocolate and Cold Drink kind of items placed nearer to their cash counters but you would not have thought that there could be a reason behind such placement of items. You would be surprised to know that there remain psychological reasons why they place such kind of items near cash counters.
There are two Psychological Tricks supermarkets play on You with the Placement of these items near cash counters.
What is Decision Fatigue?
We, humans, tend to have a limited capacity when it comes to making a number of decisions in a significantly short amount of time. Which means the more decisions you have to make the worse your quality of decisions become. This is the same reason why Barak Obama used to wear the just 2 different colour suits or Steve Jobs wore his signature black turtleneck with jeans because they had to make a lot of other important decisions in a day and they can’t afford to make wrong choices. They have limited their daily clothing decision.
It is estimated that an average human makes 35000 decisions every day from what to eat, dress, purchase to what he believes in. This thing leads to poor decisions about critical things.
We tend to lose the capability to make wise decisions and ability to think enough on every next decision when the no of decisions are high in the short run and that’s decision fatigue.
How is the Decision Fatigue used by Supermarkets?
When you go through the supermarket looking at hundreds of items deciding what to buy and what not to buy and you come to the end, reach the counter, and then you are allured by items that you generally crave for, items like “Chocolates, Icecreams, and Cold Drinks”, you are not in the best state to make a choice “to buy” or “not to buy it”. That’s where you easily end up buying certain items like Cold Drinks and Chocolates.
That’s How Supermarkets end up taking advantage of your Decision Fatigue.
This tactic is also used by smart salespersons as they keep you in their shop for longer. The longer you stay the chances of your buying increases as your brain tends to fatigue toward making a decision.
Relative Pricing Effect
When people are spending big they don’t mind or care much about spending a few extra bucks and that’s where they end up spending extra even on the items they generally might not have bought.
By the time you reach the cash counter you already have made a big purchase, your cart is near full and adding few more items doesn’t seem Big even if you don’t need those items.
After adding 1200 Rs items to cart adding one 70 Rs cold drink doesn’t seem much big of money going. That’s why you see lots of items placed near the counters and those items would be of relatively low costing which prevents you to think much before adding them to cart.
Some Marts also keep Deodorants and Wallets near the cash counters, this is a placement generally in the cloth marts and cloth shops. There remains an assumption for keeping such things near the cash counter: “A person is not coming to a cloth market to buy a deodorant or wallet”. People may overlook these items if kept in-between or at the end of the shop as it’s not their priority but once they have purchased clothes and have come to the counter – “Here both the above rules follow up” – After purchasing clothes you may try Deo even if you have one. And also because the cost of deo looks kinda small in front of the purchase you have already made, so you can easily end up buying it.
Another Important Thing here is when you have made the purchase and you are in a queue to pay, the person coming with you get some free time and stuff like deodorants, chocolates, chips, cold drinks can get their attention easily. Their will to resist has already been depleted.