Views:4 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2021-10-11 Origin:Site
"Two-thirds of what we buy in the supermarket we had no intention of buying," says consumer expert Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping ($16, amazon.com). Supermarkets not only rely on such behavior; they encourage it. Every aspect of a store's layout—from the produce display near the entrance to the dairy case in the back to the candy at the register—is designed to stimulate shopping serendipity.
To explain how store geography influences customers’ spending, we enlisted a team of merchandising experts to map out a typical supermarket, to help you learn how to arrange your supermarket’s layout scientifically.
Location: Just inside the entrance
Why they're here: "Flowers can enhance the image of a store," explains Wendy Liebmann, founder and president of WSL Strategic Retail. "Consumers walk in to something that is pretty, smells great, and builds the notion of 'fresh.'"
Location: Immediately past the flowers
Why it's here: To create a tempting sensory experience. "Stores need to communicate to shoppers that produce is fresh or else people won't buy anything," says Liebmann.
Location: In the corner beyond the entrance
Why it's here: "The bakery gets your salivary glands going," Underhill says. This makes you feel hungry, and "the hungrier you are when you shop, the more food you will buy."
Location: Near the entrance
Why they're here: "To get back business lost to convenience stores, supermarkets started adding sections up front for grab-and-go items," Tesler says.
Location: Close to the entry
Why it's here: "To get more money in the hands of the shopper, so she will spend it," Tesler says.
Location: Ends of the aisles
Why they're here: Product manufacturers pay for prominent "endcap" placement—on the ends of the aisles—to advertise new or popular products.
Location: Free-floating displays lining one of the outside walls
Why they're here: Sampling stations slow you down while also exposing you to new products.
Location: In one of the front corners
Why they're here: If you're hungry for lunch, you will shop in a hurry. But if you can have lunch right in the store, "you will stay and relax," says Liebmann.
Location: On the perimeter near the exit
Why it's here: "If you are filling a prescription, " Liebmann says, "you need to wait, spend more time, and put another item in your basket."
Location: In the center aisles
Why they're here: To draw consumers deeper into the market and expose them to nonessential items along the way.
Location: Along the back wall of the store
Why they're here: "Stores typically put these items in the farthest reaches of the store to expose customers to the maximum amount of product on their 'quick trip' so they will impulsively buy other things," says Tesler.
Location: By the registers and exit
Why they're here: To turn waiting time into buying time. This is the most profitable area of the store, Underhill says.
The placement of items on store shelves is not haphazard. Here, the experts explain what's up, what's down, and what's in the "bull's-eye"—and why.
What's there: Smaller brands, regional brands, gourmet brands.
Why: The items here give "tone and texture" to the shelf layout, Liebmann says, helping the supermarket stand out from its competitors. These smaller brands usually don't have the budgets to pay for more favorable placement.
What's there: Bestsellers and other leading brands.
Why: "Brands that sell best are always in what's called the 'bull's-eye zone,' front and center, right in your sight line. It is the best placement, and the manufacturers have to pay for it," says Childress. Tesler adds: "There's no advantage for the supermarket to show you the lowest-priced item in the most effective spot. So here you tend to see higher-priced items or items with the highest markup." Secondary brands hoping to benefit from being shelved next to the leaders also pay for placement in the bull's-eye.
What's there: Products with kid appeal.
Why: "Kids can react and reach out to a product," says Tesler.
What's there: Store and private-label brands; oversize and bulk items.
Why: "Store brands go on shelves four and five because people who buy store brands will always hunt for them," says Childress. "The supermarkets carry bulk items to compete with warehouse clubs like Sam's and Costco," Liebmann explains, and bulk items are awkward to store anyplace but the bottom shelf.