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The Supermarket Defined, Understanding Consumer Behavior

Trolly SignThe Key to Making a Sale is Understanding Consumer Behavior.

Most people will tell you that when they are shopping at a supermarket, they walk by nearly every aisle.

To be more specific, typically, we walk around the outer perimeter and then visit the center aisles based on our own unique needs. The outer perimeter is designed like a “race track” and for a good reason. It has a wider walkway. This is to allow for a larger amount of traffic as well as draw people to this area because people have the tendency to move to open spaces and avoid feeling confined. Since retailers are aware of this behavior, key items are positioned in the outer perimeter aisle like produce, meat and bread. The outer perimeter is good for anything in need of maximum exposure.

Center aisles, believe it or not, account for fewer sales, because consumers visit them less frequently. Thus, there is less of a volume of the product available. On the other hand, there may be more of a variety offered. Too much of a variety can be bad because too many choices can overwhelm a shopper. Which is why one product maybe presented and highlighted on it’s own at the end of any aisle.

For supermarkets, in order to make a sale, the retailer and product manufacturers need to get the shopper’s attention. A shopper may be moving fast and not looking for a particular product, so it becomes all the more important to really capture the person’s attention. Once you are able to capture someone’s attention, the next stage is closing the sale.

What are a few simple ways to capture a shopper’s attention? For one, color can get attention. Why are sales signs red? Red gets attention. It’s biology. Red is more visible to the human eye.

Second is shape. It’s natural to focus attention on a shape in our environment that appears unusual. Combining a novel shape with an eye-catching color is important in product packaging, especially when sitting on a supermarket shelf.

In the end, our subconscious plays a role in the way we shop when visiting a supermarket. Supermarkets know how to use typical human behavior to their advantage in order to bring in sales.

Image by wallyir – via


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