Using the Psychology Behind Supermarket Layouts to Turn in Profits

Ever wonder why when you go shopping at your local supermarket you always end up buying items that you never even had on your shopping list? No, it’s not because you are weak or you an impulsive buyer; it’s because of how supermarkets are designed.

Supermarket owners are clever people and they use a series of psychological elements to trick you into spending as much money as possible. They are determined to distract you enough for you to spend on items you do not really need.

For instance, many supermarkets now have barriers set up at the entrance so the only way you are getting out is through the checkouts which means you have to walk past tempting products. The supermarket entrance is where most supermarkets make a good impression on the buyers. That’s where you will find fresh vegetables, fruits and hot baked goods.

However, this post is not purely about how supermarkets use psychological tricks to make their buyers buy items on impulse; it’s about how you can use the psychology of the supermarket layout to turn in a profit.

The Psychology Behind The Supermarket Layout

Let’s revisit an earlier statement about placing fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods at the entrance of the supermarket. Other than being eye catching and giving off pleasurable smells, these items also have high profit margins.

Alternatively, if your products cannot be placed at the entrance of the supermarket, you can have them placed in reserved sections at the end of the isle where they place special offers. A new trick that supermarkets use to boost sales around products in the reserved sections is to surround them with brightly colored stickers without any actual offers. The reason why this technique works is because people psychologically connect the end of the isle with a good bargain.

Another method that supermarkets use is applying their own classification systems on the shelves. Generic brands are normally placed on the bottom shelf while big brands are on the middle shelf. Expensive brands on the other hand are placed on the top shelf. The psychology behind this is that the hurried shopper will grab whatever is in front of them while bargain hunters will go out of their way.

Another popular method that supermarkets use to lay out their products is by putting together products you need for a particular event. For example, at the end of the month, they create events in our minds such as the “barbeque summer” in order to sell party goodies. This is designed to make buyers buy more because everything seems like the perfect accompaniment to one thing or another.

Supermarkets also use color to lure buyers. For instance, green represents nature so they can use green to decorate sections that sell organic food. Similarly, they use purple to decorate sections that sell high quality food because purple represents royalty and luxury.

Supermarkets also like placing sugary treats on the mini aisles at the till. They hope that as you wait in line to pay for your shopping, you will be tempted to pick some extra treats.

What You Can do to Maximise Your Profits


Ensure that your products are located strategically where customers can easily find them.

Offer Discounts

Running a discount is one way that supermarkets try to get people in the door. If you can offer a discount on one of your products and up sell something else, then you won’t hurt your profit margins if this leads to sales.

Price Shouldn’t be Everything

Provided that what you are offering is of high value, you do not need to lower your prices to convince customers to purchase your product. Most people purchase expensive items even though there are cheaper alternatives because they are motivated by the value they get from these products.


Take advantage of local or national events to promote your products at the supermarket. For instance, you can out together a special promotion for Christmas, Thanksgiving or Halloween.

The strange thing about the psychology behind supermarket layouts is that we know they are duping us but we still fall for the same tricks every time. Use this knowledge to push your products and increase your profit margins.

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Do you know of any other ways the psychology behind supermarket layouts can help you make profits? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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