What We Know about How People Shop


It surprise you to learn how carefully retailers study the human mind and the way people shop in order to make the most out of what they’re putting on their wholesale retail price tags and in-store marketing campaigns. Price tags for retail and shelf edge promotional items can do a lot to affect the way people buy, especially since studies show that shoppers make more than 80% of their purchase decisions after they’ve already entered the store. More than half of all purchases in any retail store are classified as impulse buys, and stores are keen to grab those. Signage does a lot to affect the way we shop, and almost 70% of consumers say they have made a purchase because a sign caught their eye. Here are some of the things we know about the way people shop.

People Need a Decompression Zone

It takes a few moments for the brain to take in the new surroundings and focus on the task at hand. Even if a person enters a grocery business many times a week, they still need that moment. This means that the front of the store is the least important area for the retailer. People tend to slow down here and very rarely buy anything in this section. That’s why this section tends to be full of promotional items with brightly colored wholesale retail price tags pasted up everywhere. If the deal is good enough, we just might buy.

Greeters Keep Us From Stealing

If you’ve ever wondered why some stores employ a greeter, the answer is really quite simple. We are far less likely to steal from nice people. The greeter puts a face to the corporation behind the retail store, and a friendly smile and personal greeting disinclines people from shoplifting.

Grocers Know We Feel Guilt

Grocery stores understand that we feel wholesome when we buy vegetables and fruit. That’s why these items are the first thing you see when you come into the store. After we’ve bought a salad, loaded up on that vegetable that we sort of like but are mostly eating because it’s “good for us,” and get ourselves some nice, healthy fruit, we’re more likely to believe that we’ve been very righteous and deserve a reward. When we hit the snack aisle we’re likely to pay no attention to the numbers on the wholesale retail price tags and snap up a snack with less guilt.

Everything is About Time

The more time we spend in a place, the more likely we are to spend money there. Most stores are designed to get us to spend the most amount of time in the most profitable areas. This is why items we really need, such as milk, are all the way at the back, and other popular items may be smack in the middle of the store where we wouldn’t think to look for them. This keeps us wandering through profitable aisles.

Smells Are More Important Than Pricing

Most the information that comes our way when we enter a store is visual. There are numbers and colors on wholesale retail price tags, a printed sign over here, a last-minute promotion over there. What really gets us, though, is scent. This is why a lot of grocery stores have an in-house bakery. The smell of bread and cake encourages people to buy.

Shelf Positioning Is Everything

Companies pay retailers for the slot their products sit on. Certain places on the shelf, such as the ones at eye level, will be seen more easily than others. Most everyone agrees that an end cap display has the best visibility and that placing can make consumers forget about the numbers on those wholesale retail price tags.

We Demand Price Tags

Though we might not like what we see on those wholesale retail price tags, we do want them. Without price tags, we are unlikely to buy.

Some strategies that retailers use have been in place for centuries. Some are based on the amazing amounts of data available through technological advances. Whatever the strategy, we’re almost certainly going to keep buying.

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