Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Grocery shoppers spend smarter and save even more money. You don’t even need to use coupons to save. Learn how to grocery shop like a pro and avoid marketing tactics. Let’s outsmart the experts.
How To Avoid These Most Common Grocery Store Marketing Strategies
Your Shopping Mission
Get organized, make a list, and collect all your valuable coupons.
Go to the store (find prime parking).
Enter the store (I will stick to my list, I will stick to my list!!).
Is that freshly baked bread I smell? Make a b-line to the bakery department to see what’s cookin’. Put delicious-smelling bread in the cart. WAIT!!! Was that on my list??
Did you just fail to Avoid Marketing Tactics? You sure did!
Five seconds after entering the store, the sweet smell of freshly baked bread enticed you. And now, you have it tucked nicely in your cart. What gives?
None of this is done by accident, my friend. In fact, it is all part of a marketing strategy. Grocery stores have long employed these kinds of tactics to increase their sales revenue.
Marketers gather information based on your behavior, social and economic psychology to discover ways to entice extra purchases. Guess What? Many of these tactics you may never even know about it.
Think about it; you are on your way home from work and need to pick up a gallon of milk. Most stop in after work to make small trips to the store.
A simple task, you say. I got this.
You run into the store to get milk. Next, you find it is located in the very back corner of the store. HUH?? You travel past the produce, bakery, and meat departments before reaching your destination and along the way pick up a few of those on-sale peaches that look so good and another loaf of bread.
You, my friend, have just entered into the world of marketing tactics.
The goal: From the time a consumer (YOU) sets foot in the store and until the second you leave, marketing tools to increase the odds of you staying in the store longer have started. The longer you stay increases your opportunity to buy more. Let’s explore.
What is a Grocery Store Marketing Plan?
A grocery store’s marketing plan works as an operational document outlining the various marketing tactics that a business will implement to reach its target market and generate leads.
- It uses tailored messaging that is targeted toward pre-defined demographics and geographic areas.
- Offers Unique Selling Points, such as products only found at that specific store or deeply discounted items (see loss leaders)
- Promotional pricing, use of loyalty cards, and specialized coupons.
- Offer specialized tastings
- Tailored store music – A popular study conducted in the 1980s by Ronald Milliman revealed that supermarket sales increased by 38% when slow music was played in-store.
How to Avoid Marketing Tactics When Grocery Shopping
Many frugal shoppers understand the concept of loss leaders and how they are used to getting you into the store.
Loss leaders are a pricing strategy where a product is sold at a price below its market cost to stimulate other sales of more profitable goods or services.
You can watch my video below to learn more about loss leaders to get a better understanding.
How to Avoid Grocery Marketing Tactics
But did you know that most companies pay the store to have their products displayed on the end caps?
Here you are thinking that those are the items that currently are the best offers.
In some cases, the ends caps contain on-sale items but are paired with a high price item. (i.e. cake mix is on sale for $1 and on the next shelf is the frosting for $1.79, not on sale). The majority of shoppers don’t realize the difference. Are you one that didn’t take notice too?
This is exactly what the stores want. They want you blissfully unaware of the simple strategies to get you to buy more.
By the time you reach the checkout, you would have been attracted by promotional signs, specialized lighting, end cap displays, product placement, smells of delicious food, and FREE tastings; it is no wonder you find products in your cart that we’re not on your original list.
Even at check out, you see displays of last-minute items for purchase (candy, gum, magazines, batteries, to-go snacks, and even eyeglass repair kits).
Most Known Marketing Tactics That All Consumers Should Be Aware of
- Advertising a sale on one item placed next to corresponding items that are not.
- Free tastings of food that you were not planning on purchasing
- Location of products – mid-level (or eye level) is typically more expensive, and sugary type food is placed on the bottom shelf to attract kids.
- Colors of product packaging. Brighter packaging draws attention to the eyes.
- Look for buzzwords. An example: Items are gluten-free (not labeled) versus those labeled gluten-free.
- Sights and smells as you enter the store. (Never go in hungry to the store)
- Product placement – i.e. Milk back corner of the store. Must travel the length of the store bypassing many other products.
- End caps advertisements – are not always on sale, but shoppers assume that they are.
- The Music in-store. It is designed to slow you down. The more time you spend at the store the more money you will spend.
- The items at checkout – The most profitable items in a store. Often we reward ourselves on the way out.
Now you know you can avoid marketing tactics. They can be very sneaky.
Impulse Buys at the Grocery Store
All the above-listed grocery store tactics lead many of us can help but impulse buy at the store.
It is often that we fail and end up with many impulses buys in our cart.
Saving Money at the Grocery Shopping
Avoiding marketing tactics is the key to saving more money at the grocery store. Grocery shopping can be stressful enough. Even if you are not aware of it, companies are competing for your purchases.
This defeats the purpose of doing our best to save our family money while shopping for essentials. We have all been SUCKED in, so it is quite easy to say;
“The Store Made Me Do IT!!!” Yes, Yes, it DID!
Who is “the most wanted” when you go to the grocery store? (The bakery department, the produce section, sample central……….) What impulse items have you purchased recently?
Being smart about your shopping experience allows you to be frugal. Savings money at the grocery store is a must. Remember that you have control over your spending, not the marketers.