It has become the fashion as well as a convenience, now, to go to a supermarket and pick up all the provisions one wants to get, at one go. But I notice that the “convenient” process is beset with pitfalls, that the advertising and marketing people have put there for us shoppers. The tactics they adopt always encourage us to spend more,and buy items that we do not really need–or spend more money on brands more expensive than they should be. As this can impact our budgets, here’s a housewife’s take on some of the techniques one is likely to encounter. Unfortunately, most marketing techniques seem to fall under the category of being, at best, designed to make us spend more…and at worst, marketing skullduggery which misrepresents products and their prices (and ultimate cost-to-the-consumer) to the buyers.
I recently read about how supermarkets keep the milk right at the back, so that the consumer will have to go through aisles of other, tempting, but unnecessary stuff….and while I can understand the market tactics, I do go there directly and don’t spend time on what’s at the front…probably I am an adman/marketing person’s nightmare customer. But I do know several people who really enjoy the browsing, and trying out of new stuff and brands. This works well for me, too…from my try-the-new-brand friends, I get the feedback, and then am able to take a decision about buying a new product.
Another technique supermarkets adopt is to put a very wide variety of one particular type of product on the shelf…and the more expensive ones are always handier. I find that sparing the time to calculate the unit price (it is dispalyed in supermarkets abroad, but not in India), sometimes even with the help of a calculator, helps me make the best choice of product. It is a sad fact of life that one is probably going to pay more for the convenience of having many varities of a product on the supermarket shelves,as the shops will pass on the cost of the inventory to us, too.