Subtle but effective

If you walk into a grocery store or a retail store you will see that each store is organized a certain way. Unbeknown to you, however, it's not just because the manager of the store put things where he wanted but instead did it in a way to make more sales. How can a store's organization cause them to make more money? Find out below what tactics they employ and how it's done.


Stores know how we as humans think. We are based on emotions, pictures, and the different senses of our bodies. Things are organized to sell, not just to find a place to sit. We look at a lot of different things as we walk around the store, and their objective is to keep you there as long as possible in hopes that you will find one or two more items to purchase. Colors, scents, and attractive shelving and placement all cause us to subconsciously want to buy them even if we can't explain why. Not everyone falls to these tricks of the mind, but studies have shown numerous times that this marketing and organization works and has led to increased sales.

Finding what you want

Do you ever notice that the things you really want are hard to find or are in the back of the store? This is because store owners know people who just go straight for the items they want are less likely to bCandy Displaysuy anything else, so their thinking is place those highly desirable things in the back and the customer may see something interesting. This trick works because people who come to the grocery store to get milk will have to walk all the way to the back and the side to get to it, but in the mean time they are bombarded by sales and good looking food. This usually ends up causing customers that are oblivious to this marketing to decide to pick something else up. Have you ever noticed that the clearance items and bins are always in the back of the store? The store makes no money off of clearance items, so you have to work for it by walking back there. In the mean time you see hundreds of attractive products around you that would make you want to stop and look. This idea causes customers that aren't smart and keen to these crafty organization strategies to pick up other items they didn't need, but that's the whole idea of why stores are laid out like this.

Touch it!

Stores all over the world have taken a page out of the car salesman's book on this one. If you go to a dealership you will note many times that car salesman aren't interested in talking about price, specs, or warranties. What they will push you to do is to take it for a test drive and get you in the car. This is because we are emotional beings and the car salesman is keen to this exploit so when we get into the car we don't care about specs and price, we like the look of the car and we suddenly want it! Taking this approach to stores, they are set up so we have easy access to grab and touch things. Free displays and areas where we can try out products and items means it's in our hands and we are experiencing tTouching Productshat item for ourselves. This causes us in our subconscious to suddenly see ourselves owning that item and wanting it, that's why places like Costco have people all around the store giving away free samples of food products. I don't plan on buying fancy milk chocolate covered raisins, but when I tried them I suddenly wanted them.

Working off this idea of trying things before we buy, we can see why electronic stores like Best Buy are so hugely successful. People watch the TVs, play on the tablets and computers, and try out the video game displays all over the store. People see things they like, and then suddenly they want to buy it. The salesman will make a good pitch and then the customer has those feelings of "I have to have this now I can't wait"! This is exactly what they are going for because people are visual and the senses are strong. We see a really cool iPad and never imagined getting one, and then suddenly the feeling comes over us that we have to buy this now because it's on sale and it's cool!

Be aware

Being aware of these kinds of tricks will only help you save money and make you a better shopper because you know every single store employs these tactics and you can easily see through the veil for what is truly going on. Understand that even if you are totally aware of this, things will not change because stores make a lot of money from these marketing strategies. There is a reason why credit card debt is so high and it's because people can't wait to buy something. Rather than save the money and buy it when they have the cash, they succumb to these tactics and find themselves having to have an item they didn't even know about 5 minutes ago. Swipe the card and bam it's yours; instant gratification. Be wary of salesman asking if they can help you. Salesman aren't interested in your questions unless they see potential for a sale. That nice guy who just approached you and will help you with anything is really trying to get you to look at a new $700 laptop instead of just helping you figure out why your laptop isn't working.


As marketing firms continue to pump out more ideas for stores to grab onto and employ in their stores, we as customers should continually educate ourselves in the idea that we have to know ahead of time what we are looking to buy and then get in there and buy it quickly. This is why I am a huge proponent of online shopping because all of these techniques go out the window since I'm not in a store. I shop online and find what I want and that's it, no marketing nonsense to manipulate my senses with good music and smells and images. Shop online, or know ahead of time what you want and get it quickly and you will actually save money in the long run.