Why We Spend

From a fascinating article in the Sunday Telegraph, by Julia Llewellyn Smith, (‘The New Buy Laws’, 4 Dec):  Here are some of the ways that retailers encourage us to spend..

  • raising prices and then dropping them, so we think we’re getting a bargain and also purchase something we wouldn’t normally buy
  • ‘value’ ranges that cost more than their competitors or standard fare
  • pumping out music that enhances our mood (nostalgic songs make us feel more youthful and more inclined to spend; music slower than our heartbeats makes us linger)
  • altered lighting (we slow down in dim areas which is why expensive objects are often stocked there)
  • changing the size of the floor tiles (even a variation in floor grouting makes us slow our trolleys down at key points)
  • using carpeted areas (again to make us slow down)
  • BOGOF offers that appeal to our desire to stockpile (especially in a recession)
  • priming us to feel that we’re having a good time, so we veer off our shopping lists.  (This can be anything from putting ‘fun’ items like CDs halfway through the store, to enormous ‘Value’ signs, even when nothing has been reduced)
  • putting items in glass cases to trigger associations with items that are precious (like in a museum)
  • using natural colours to make you feel calmer
  • stacking things neatly (customers value disordered items less)
  • giving ‘free’ items (e.g; £100 cashback), so we feel we’re getting something instant
  • concealed cash desks (customers will leave a shop if they see a queue).

It’s a jungle out there.  So keep your friends close – and your wallets closer. Remember, no-one ever died because there weren’t enough sprouts.

1 thought on “Why We Spend

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *