Grocery shopping- free choice or manipulation?

Winta Seyum

Hello reader\s, in this article I am going to inform you about the different tricks supermarkets use to manipulate you.

“Manipulate” means making you buy or do things that you do not even want. In Ms Oehmke’s WBS class we were supposed to conduct a reality check and this is what I found out at a smaller supermarket in an area a lot of people visit. I was really surprised when I noticed that the store uses most of the tricks we talked about in class. For example the bakery and the fruits are placed near the entrance of the supermarket to bring costumers in a good mood due to all the senses that the delicious smell and the bright colours activate. In addition, I found out that it is really true that essential items like dairy products or flour are positioned far away from each other. As a result, you have to walk through the whole store and spend more time in it. I realized that most expensive products are placed right at eye level so that customers are tempted to buy these products. Something else I never paid attention to is that the shopping carts are so big that it makes you feel like you have not bought anything. If you only buy a few items, you get the impression that you forgot something because there is still so much space in the cart. Another trick I recognized is that you have to move from the right to the left in the store which makes German costumers feel more comfortable as they are used to move from right to left (they also drive on the right side of the street). In contrast to other stores, the supermarket I visited doesn’t use special light or music to manipulate you but they do try to make you buy stuff last minute by putting small treats or magazines in the till aisle.  In the end, this experiment was fun and made me realize how much the stores try to manipulate us.

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