Marketing gimmicks and how to avoid them


The reason you came back from the grocery store with a full bag of groceries isn’t because you’re a shopaholic. It’s just that the marketing team working for the store does wonders for the consumer mindset and subtly encourages purchases.

In this article, we’ve rounded up popular marketing gimmicks that shoppers face every day and how you can avoid them.

Illusion of scarcity

This technique is used by online stores. In the product card next to the “buy” button, they indicate that several units are left in the warehouse: “last item”, “3 jokes left”. Emotionally, such limitedness motivates to buy faster: we think that a rare thing is more valuable.

The reception also works with hotel rooms: “90% of the hotels are already booked for these dates” and air tickets – “there are three seats left on the flight at this price.”

In offline stores, it works in a similar way.. The merchandiser displays different products, and popular brands are at the back of the shelf and not even in full. The reaction is almost always the same: “Wow, everything was taken apart, we must take it in reserve, otherwise it won’t happen.” Such tricks in stores help to quickly sell products with an expiring shelf life.

How to avoid

If you are looking at products online and stumbled upon a one-of-a-kind item, look for it on other sites: you may find similar models or a lower price. In an ordinary supermarket, try not to be led by spontaneous desires. To do this, make a shopping list.

Chocolates at the checkout, and bread in the far corner

why is the bread in the store in the far corner

In supermarkets, any shelves are adjacent to each other for a reason. For example, goods of impulse demand are placed near the checkout: chewing gum, sweets, chocolates – the last attempt of the store to sell something to the buyer before leaving.

The most needed products, such as bread and water, are located in the back of the store. This is necessary so that on the way you have time to examine the rest of the goods and take something else.

Vegetables and fruits are put at the beginning: buyers are happy to take care of their health, and then calmly study alcohol, snacks and sweets. And then there is the rule of cross-pollination, where complementary goods are close to each other, for example: beer and chips, shoes and bags.

The principle also works online., when you are shown a tooltip or at the bottom of the page, a “buy with this product” section is added. For example, if you choose a kettle, you will be offered a thermos at a discount.

How to avoid

Determine in advance what and at what price you need to buy. Calculate the total amount and take only it with you so that there is no way to spend too much. If the store is familiar, set a rough route (“bread – milk – meat”) and stick to it.

1 + 1 promotion or discount for the purchase of several products

how the 1+1 promotion works

How to force to buy not one deodorant, but two? Just offer a share – two for the price of one. This is a popular technique for goods that are stale in the warehouse. The trick works the same way both online and offline. In grocery stores, such a product is often placed alone and punched it for the entire price, hoping for inattention.

By the same principle, they persuade to buy a thing from another category. For example: “20% discount on a cap when buying a T-shirt.” The reception works in both directions: for those who are looking for a cap, and for those who are looking for a T-shirt.

They also often offer reduced volume products at discounts: you take 0.7 liters of olive oil, thinking that you are saving, although for a 10% surcharge you will receive a liter of oil without any promotion.

How to avoid

Carefully study the information on the price tag and check. Often there is a benefit only for owners of discount cards. Another discount may not be specially punched at the checkout, hoping that it will be embarrassing for you to refuse and delay the queue.

Do not be lazy and calculate the real discount you will receive. Perhaps buying separately and in different stores will be cheaper.

Evaluate the capabilities of your refrigerator and appetite in advance: products purchased under the promotion “for the company” may deteriorate.

Before your eyes – the most profitable for the seller

supermarket marketing gimmicks

The way the goods lie on the rack also matters: at eye level – positions that are advantageous for the store. The lower or higher, the cheaper. In online stores, this works in the form of sorting products by default: at the top of the page, what they want to sell more strongly.

Even in the arrangement of products use the effect of the golden mean. It shows that it is easier for people to choose one of three options than two.

Usually, on the bottom shelf there are goods that are not bought impulsively and are not too lazy to bend over for them. The top shelf is an expensive “status” product. And in the middle is a rational option – neither expensive nor cheap, but the one that will bring the most profit to the store. On these positions and satisfied with the action.

But online marketers often give the buyer three options to choose from, where one is clearly not profitable. This technique is called the lure effect or asymmetric superiority.

An example with the purchase of English courses:

  • 12,000 rubles for three months of learning English (4,000 a month).
  • 18,500 rubles for three months of learning English with a native speaker (6,500 per month).
  • 25,000 rubles for five months of learning English with a native speaker (5,000 per month).

Seeing that the rate for five months is more profitable, the choice may fall on this option.

How to avoid

Explore the shelf in the store to find a profitable product. On online platforms, marketers easily draw attention to the option they want by adding the “best value” mark to the price tag. Therefore, choose the service according to your needs and feelings of price.

Marks on price tags and goods

online store marketing tricks

Marketers can add a positive characteristic to any thing by giving it a special quality mark. In online stores, it looks like a small icon on the image.

In ordinary stores, such goods are in the categories “Hit”, “Recommended”, “Must take”, “Best price”. Often they are advertised by a famous person who chooses this product.

Any addition to the product is an element of expertise. The buyer thinks that the thing has passed the selection and is at the top of the rating. So, you can trust and buy.

How to avoid

Preliminary monitoring of goods helps here. Read the reviews to see if the item is worth it. And to compare prices in all stores at once, download mobile application with discounts.

Remember to read the ingredients and description on the label, even if you see the recommendation of a doctor, actor or athlete on a poster. Perhaps this composition is no different from a cheaper analogue.

Crossed out old prices and discounts on price tags

Why are prices always discounted?

There is an unspoken rule in stores: there must be a discount on the product, even if the base cost is fiction. This is called the anchor effect, where the buyer gets a starting point. So he sees the benefit.

Even next to expensive goods, very expensive ones are placed on the same shelf so that the buyer can see the price range. For example, a phone for 80 thousand is next to a phone for 40-50 thousand. Here, the “anchor” is a higher price, and the second price seems more affordable against its background.

How to avoid

Study the characteristics of the goods and compare them with cheap models. A 40K laptop might not be much different from a 50K laptop. Try to understand the real advantages and correlate them with the price.

Price that ends in 90 or 99

why write prices 99

Stores often set non-round prices: 1990 rubles, 999 rubles, 890 rubles, etc. The fact is that the brain does not remember the numbers at the end (we read quickly and from left to right). We sincerely believe that instead of 1190 rubles, you need to pay 1000.

How to avoid

Make it a rule that you need to round the price tags up, not down. The price of 99.9 is 100 rubles, not 99, as many people think.

Demand simulation

advertising gimmicks

Demand is what motivates you to buy. Here wins online. While exploring the site, you are informed that now another 10 people are viewing the product with you, and 15 people have already bought it in a day. So we think that the thing will slip out of our hands, and we take it.

Some sites add a timer – a great pressure tool. If you see that there is little time left before the end of the promotion, you are in a hurry to buy.

How to avoid

Try to be rational about it. We do not live in an era of scarcity. If a thing is popular, it will definitely be sold, even if not in this store or not in the next week.

Take time to think before buying. Exit the store or close the site for 15 minutes. Perhaps, after a pause, this product will not seem so necessary to you.

Flavors that whet the appetite

scents in marketing

There is a whole branch of work with consumer tastes – aromamarketing. For example, when the shops smell seductively of pastries. Alas, this is not always a natural process, but a thoughtful move.

Marketers make strong connections between the image of the product and the smell: they heard the smell of coffee and immediately remembered their favorite coffee shop. For these purposes, small shops often warm up something tasty in the microwave.

How to avoid

Go shopping full. Delicious aromas stimulate appetite and lead to spontaneous spending.

Music in stores

Why is there music in stores?

Acceptance for offline stores. An obsessive melody lowers vigilance and relaxes, and also evokes an association with a particular store. Some research shows that unconsciously people buy more when they hear French music.

How to avoid

Go to the store collected, not relaxed or tired, when music can captivate and make you oversell. Grab your headphones and put on your playlist so you don’t mind the tune in the store.

Read: 14 tips to help bring down the price

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