E-learning jako vzdělávací nástroj školy 3. tisíciletí

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Psychology of supermarkets – Reading

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1 Read the article below:

From a consumers point of view, a supermarket is quite simple; Put what you want into your trolley and go through the check-out. Behind the scenes though, psychology is used a lot to define what products and brands you buy in supermarkets. Stands are designed to catch your eye and the store layout is structured to maximise profit. Through my investigations, I have found the following tactics :

 Eye level marketing

Generally speaking, the most expensive items with high profit margins are placed on shelves that are at shoppers' eye level. This is because you are more likely to see them than the less profitable brands at the very top or near your feet…

Aisle order

Some customers, particularly men, tend to simply shop for what they want, walking down an aisle grabbing what they want, turning back and walking the way they came, this is called the 'Boomerang Effect'. In order to maximise shopper and produce contact time, shops therefore place major items and brands in the middle of aisles ensuring that from any direction the customer has to walk the furthest to reach them.

Product grouping

Items that complement each other are often found close together to make you buy more.

Food smells make you feel hungry

Another tactic supermarkets use is the smell of freshly baked bread coming from the in-store bakery during the after-work rush. The smell of warm bread makes people feel hungry. When you feel hungry while shopping you are more likely to buy additional items.

Essentials at the back

Supermarkets hit upon the idea of placing the essentials, such as bread and milk, at the back of the shop. This is in order to make people have to walk past the rest of the produce, and heighten the possibility of impulse buys, in order to get their necessities. Changing rooms in clothes shops are almost always situated at the rear of the shop.

Point Of Sale

While you are waiting to pay retailers often install Point Of Sale displays, this is especially prevalent in Supermarkets who install racks of chocolate to tempt bored children waiting with their parents.


The longer customers spend in a shop the more they are likely to spend. Therefore shops work to make sure customers have to spend the maximum amount of time in their stores, placing obstacles constantly in the way of efficient shopping…

Published: 7 January 2005


2 Discussion:

  • What tactics do supermarkets use to make us spend more money?
  • Did you know about them before reading the article?
  • Do you know any other tricks used by them?
  • How would you describe a typical Czech supermarket?
  • How many supermarkets are there where you live?
  • Compare them.
  • Do you like shopping in supermarkets?
  • Is it better to shop there or in a small shop? Why?
  • Would you like to work in a supermarket? Why? / Why not?
Navigace: 1. ročník In the town; in the shop Psychology of supermarkets – Reading