Apart from drafting strategic documents, setting goals and developing competitive advantages, retailers are also concerned about building a specific customer’s experience within a store, which will both, fill in their pockets and urge customers to visit them again and again. Therefore, a simple logic behind setting up products on shelves and printing different fronts on the price tags actually holds the result of efforts of many marketers, who are interested in maximizing a company’s profits and pleasing clients. Overall, by small manipulations and deceptive practices, stores’ managers tend to influence the decision making of buyers and make them purchase the goods or items, which they do not really need.
Taking into consideration such stores as Publix and the Whole Foods, one might notice that the shelves stand one by one, parallel to each other. As a customer enters the store, items are located on both sides. However, the most expensive and luring ones are on the right side and in part, it correlates with the fact that the majority of customers are right-handed. Therefore, it is easier for them to notice the items located on this particular side and pick them up by using right hand. Moreover, the direction of movement is counterclockwise, which also stimulates to explore the store and purchase more (Svatosova 15). This trick puts clients closer to the shelves, exposing items set up on them. Apart from that, certain products, which are used the most, are hidden in the back of the store or in the place that is the most distant from a cashier and entrance. For instance, the Whole Foods located the diary far in the middle of the store, thus, customers had to go through shelves with products that he or she does not quite need.
Product placement is also one of the factors affecting buyers’ behavior and arranged by a supermarket’s managers. First, presumably, certain companies make deals with the stores to ensure that their products are noticeable by customers and that they are purchased more frequently. At Whole Foods, for instance, cookies could be found at the end of the shelf, urging customers to buy them. They were differentiated from the rest and marked by different colors, which drew the attention of visitors. In a certain way, these stores make an impact on buying behaviors, as a customer orders products, which have been specifically highlighted for him or her by a store’s employees. In fact, the choice that they make is the result of a few algorithms, set up by store managers and the employees responsible for product placing. The end caps were also enriched with small energy bars, different staff that had the minimum price and usability. Yet, due to the impulses, customers, indeed, took some of them and paid instantly. The size of stores also affected these last-time purchasing decisions, as at the Publix, which occupied giant space, customers reached out for some bars to refill the energy that they spent while wandering around it. The products targeted at children were situated on the lower shelves, so that they could notice and grab them without parents’ help and attention. Items that are more expansive were located at the adult’s level, whereas the cheaper options were laid out lower. Not all of the brands were presented at Whole Foods, and it was probably due to the agreements with suppliers. Some of them agree to provide products at significantly lowered prices, if a retailer refuses to cooperate with other brands and sell their products. The advantage that is retrieved by a store is the two-edged stick. On the one hand, they get access to the cheaper products and can benefit from higher margins. On the other hand, some customers are more loyal to brands and might go look for them at another store, omitting the Whole Foods and not purchasing other items there. At the same time, managers locate fruits and vegetables, which spoil fast, at the beginning of the customer’s journey via the store to motivate them buy them first and ensure that they do not miss them (Priest et al. 19). The appearance of fruits also nurtures the illusion of fresh and clean space, as well as pleasant odor, encouraging customers to visit the store and leave their money there.
Designing of customer’s experience is at heart of marketing strategies of both stores. The Whole Foods, for instance, focuses on the creation of atmosphere of freshness in the local supermarkets. Thus, customers are frequently exposed to the fresh fish lying on the ice, though the majority of food is sold headless and packaged (Makarewicz 105). Cut open avocados and chopped jalape?os silently invite customers to join trapeze and purchase the slice of the product. Publix deploys the strategy of simplicity and fluency, which emphasizes the easy-to-read and understand mottos, noticeable prices and other small details. The main task is to make buying experience painless and effort-free.
In conclusion, supermarkets are employing specific strategies aiming to encourage customers to shop more and frequently. They are actually changing buyers’ experience within stores and make the decisions for clients, as they draw attention to the products, which need to be sold. To avoid these tricks, customers should train their conscience and intentionally avoid the traps. Making shopping lists and allocating limited sum of money for shopping might help in resisting the pressures of giant retailing chains and marketers.