Interior Design Tricks Supermarkets Use to Sell More

Imagine walking into a supermarket. After passing the entrance filled with promotional posters, you pass the florist and inhale the enticing fragrance of the flowers. You start roaming the aisles, putting milk, bread, and TP in your oversized shopping basket. Only when you reach the checkout do you notice that your basket is half full of stuff you didn’t even want to buy in the first place.

This is largely due to some very clever tricks supermarkets use to convince you to buy more. Perhaps you won’t be surprised to know that many of them are used by casinos, too – although in the age of online casino sites, you might not see them as often as in a shopping center.

Entrance and Exit

Entering a supermarket won’t immediately put you in the middle of the aisles. Instead, you’ll reach a so-called “decompression zone.” This area is designed to be welcoming, giving you a moment to adjust to the environment.


There is probably a florist or a bakery nearby to make the atmosphere even more welcoming – and to make you hungry. This is deliberate, too – a hungry customer is more likely to impulse buy. Besides, studies have shown that most shoppers turn right when entering a store. Supermarkets use this instinct, placing promotions and attractive items in this area.

The exit – the checkout lane – in supermarkets is another area that encourages impulse buying. The shelves filled with candy, sweets, and essential items are perfect targets for the bored shopper.

Into the Labyrinth

Did you notice that most supermarkets are akin to a maze? This, too, is deliberate – it encourages you to roam all over the shop and be exposed to more products. The products are also placed strategically: the ones with the highest margins are placed at eye level, making them more noticeable. The cheapest products are usually on the bottom shelves, while the more expensive ones are on the top. Does “Top Shelf” ring a bell?


Essential products are also strategically placed- everywhere. Even if you’re only looking for milk, bread, and eggs, you’ll be exposed to a whole host of other products that you might buy on impulse.

The Subtle Things

We already mentioned the smell of flowers or baked goods relaxing you and making you hungry right at the entrance. This is one of the subtler tricks supermarkets use to make you buy more. A pleasant smell and temperature will make you more comfortable while you shop, which may convince you to spend more. On top of the smell, shops play with the lights, highlighting the more expensive products and the music – they keep it slow, so you’ll be slow and notice more products you can buy.

Next time you enter a supermarket (or a casino), take a moment to observe these design elements in action. They result from years of studies on consumer behavior and are designed to make you spend more – but also to make you feel better. Being mindful of these tricks helps you become a more conscious shopper and spend more in the long run.

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