Learning From Marketers’ Playbooks

Some of the best insights about shopping smart come from marketers. The trick is to learn their strategies for separating us from our money, and then play defense. That was the focus of a great post on the Get Rich Slowly blog, which reviewed the book, “Why We Buy.” For example, retailers do what they can to keep shoppers in their stores as long as possible. They know that the longer a person stays, the more likely they are to buy. So, our best approach is to shop with a specific purpose in mind, spending as little time in stores as possible. Marketers don’t offer baskets and carts just for our convenience, but because they know we’ll buy more if we use one. So, if you’re going in the store for just a few items, take a pass on the cart or basket. Lastly, research shows that the more interaction between shopper and employee, the higher the average sale. So, seek the assistance of a store employee only if absolutely necessary.

I used to have a day job that required my attendance at various marketing conferences. And I found myself doing the same thing as this blogger–trying to turn marketer insights into shopper insights. I remember hearing a marketing professor going on and on about his research that showed why “value” size packages are good for manufacturers and retailers. While shoppers perceive that they are getting a good deal, the marketing prof found that when shoppers buy big packages they end up using a lot more product per usage occasion. One solution is to transfer some of the product to smaller containers when you get home so you always feel like you’re about to run out.


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