You can learn a lot about product placement in shops by looking around your local supermarket. Competition for customers is so fierce that supermarkets no longer rely on simple price comparisons to get people into their shops.
Here are nine ways supermarkets arrange their stores to maximise profit:
Front of store
There are two trends you’ll notice at the front of any store. One is usually the fresh fruit and vegetables and the other is quick items like sandwiches and flowers. The quick items are there because supermarkets understand that some people are literally only going to nip in and out and will react better to what they need being easily accessible. The fruit and vegetables look better in natural light and also the expanse of green puts shoppers in a better frame of mind. This is because green is a relaxing colour.
End of aisle
Shoppers don’t naturally go up and down every aisle in a supermarket. They dip in and out of the ones they need to go down. Which is why the end of each aisle is so valuable. Here shoppers are more likely to react positively to discounted ranges, promotions for new products, and two for one offers.
High traffic zones
In every store there are areas that shoppers pass through most frequently. These are the best places for sample stands, or to promote new products, or to sell discounted items quickly. It’s also where impulse buy products are most likely to be found.
Big no no’s
In today’s supermarkets you can buy just about anything, but you’ll never find the clothing section right next to fresh food. There is always a buffer zone of dried food, cosmetics, home accessories, or electronics. This is because research shows clothes and food don’t naturally mix in people’s minds.
Flooring and shelves
Premium products have subtly different surroundings than every day products. In some shops the flooring turns from linoleum to wood when you enter the alcohol section. Expensive and exotic ingredients are often on differently colour display units, than everyday ingredients. The surroundings encourage shoppers to feel they are making a special purchase.
Eye level shopping
Eye level placement of products is a great method to increase sales. A product will sell significantly more if it is on the eye level of the target buyer. So products aimed at children, like soft cheeses and cheese sticks are slightly lower so the child can see them and alert their parents to put them in the trolley. A higher value product is often placed on the middle shelf so that people are more likely to see it and buy it. Those looking for value range products will usually find them down at ankle level.
Impulse buys at the till
Supermarkets know what shoppers will find most appealing dependent on the weather. On rainy days you’ll find umbrellas next to tills, on bright sunny days, it’ll be sunglasses. And as you queue up, there are usually an array of sweets, magazines, and easy to handle promotional literature to grab your attention.
Side by side
Some products are placed next to others deliberately. You’ll often find crisps and soft drinks very close because the purchase of one leads to an increase in sales of the other.
The research behind product placement in supermarket is getting very high tech. Security cameras can now transmit behaviour data back to computers. Originally used to analyse anti-social behaviour, the software is increasingly attracting the attention of supermarkets. Shopper behaviour can be monitored and product placement changed to increase sales.