Monday, 6 May 2013

Store Practices to Watch!

Over the years I have become aware of hidden store practices designed to make customers spend more. Sometimes I've stumbled on this knowledge by accident while at other times friends shared their  experiences. But once I learned about these practices I was able to use the knowledge to further my own agenda, which was to spend less, not more. In this article I thought I would like to share some of what I've learned about store selling methods.

Featured sale products placed at store entrance. This is a practice widely used by one of the larger retailers. When you walk into their stores, the first thing you notice is this big stack of ‘on sale’ products. In most cases these are the featured sale items, which is fine, but the main problem with this placement is that these products are so far removed from where they’re normally stocked that its difficult to compare to similar products. That could mean that the customer, who thinks they're getting a bargain, may actually end up paying more than necessary.
Anyone interested in buying one of the featured products would do well to bring the store's current flyer with them when they go shopping. Its not necessary, or even desirable, to pick-up the item(s) at the beginning of the shopping - its much better to check out the shelves where they’re normally placed. If all of the featured items have been removed to the front, its still easy enough to compare similar products located on the shelves directly to the flyer description. If, after comparing quality and price of those products, it turns out that the products at the entrance are the best buy, then they can still be picked up on the way to the checkout.

Eye-level shelves.  At one time or another we've probably all heard about checking products on all the shelves, not just those at eye level, but for various reasons we often forget to do this. Yet when we do, we realize just what a difference it can make to the bottom line. Goods on shelves at eye level are the highly-promoted, attractively-packaged products which are usually associated with the highest markup and price. Its interesting to note that the products placed on the upper and lower shelves tend to blend into the background. Very few have bright packaging, which doesn't matter in itself because this doesn't mean much as far as quality is concerned, but it does mean that they fail to attract the eye and are therefore overlooked. Making a point of checking all the shelves, not just those at eye level, wll provide greater product choice and often a much better price.

Bundled products.  The other frequent come-on is the bundled items deal – such as 4 cans of tuna for $5.00. The wording makes customers think they need to buy the four cans to qualify for the discounted price, but not so. Unless it specifically says something like 4 cans for $5.00 or $1.49 each, the customer can choose just one can for the sale price of $1.25. This is especially important for singles or seniors where multiple quantities of anything may result in waste, which naturally increases costs. 

These are just a few of the more common practices - there are more. A good way to get around this is to shop at just a few stores to become familiar with their methods. This makes it easier to recognize their practices, interpret their wording, and remember product placement. This also allows the customer to make buying decisons based on quality and price, rather than the retailer's selling methods.

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I want this blog to be interesting, informative and current. Your comments let me know if I'm on track, so comments are greatly appreciated.
Thanks - Lenie