According to, visual appearance attracts our attention 93% of the time versus texture or smell, which only make up 7% of the shopping experience. As KCLs, we must be aware of how visual marketing strategies affect our purchases. Before I began to coupon, I admit, I was frequently a victim of  successful marketing strategies. But now, I’m very hesitant to purchase anything without using a coupon or getting a sale price.
Think flashing neon and big city bright lights!  Have you ever noticed that most fast food restaurants feature bright colors like bright reds, yellows and oranges? These colors encourage the dining customer to eat quickly and then leave. Who would’ve known that? The restaurant marketers do! And what color stands out in my local Harris Teeter sales paper? Red! It’s the color of the banner and the color of the sales ad. Here are 4 tips to increase your awareness of some of the marketing strategies that stores use to increase their sales. And hopefully they’ll also assist you in avoiding those impulse buys!

1. Analyze the value instead of the appearance

I love the endcaps at Target because they have the best clearance deals, but they’re usually located in the back. The marketing strategy for being in the back is so that you’ll buy other items first, therefore spending more money. These items may be marked down because new items have been placed on the shelves in their place. They may have an ugly markdown sticker on their packaging, but I don’t care. If the product is intact, I’m still getting the value I desire. The better value is in a discounted, yet reliable brand. Is the discounted package slightly smashed? Remember, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

2. Beware of eye-level product placement

 New items are going to be more expensive and placed strategically to get your attention. These items won’t be on the bottom of the shelf. They’ll be eye level and may have strategically-placed, brightly-colored tags to get your attention. New items are also strategically placed next to popular items! Typically, sales may be advertised on the newer items to try to get you to purchase them. The sale price may still be higher than an older brand for which you have a coupon. Truth be told, I’ve bent down on my knees to find a deal that was located in the rear of the bottom shelf! And I’ve even stood on a shelf trying to reach a deal on the top shelf—anything to save money!

3. Tricky, eye-catching ads

The most exciting time of the week is seeing new grocery store ads! A typical ad features the most popular sales on the front. For example, “Buy 2 12-pack Coke products, get 3 free.” Suppose they’re $6.79 each so you pay $13.58 for 5 cartons. That equals $2.71 each. But, you must buy all 5 to get the 3 free. What’s the catch? The store has just sold you 5 cartons of Coke for $2.71 each!  Last week, the regular price of Coke was $4.79 versus the $6.79 price tag this week. The store just jacked up the price for the buy 2, get 3 free advertised sale this week. I always carry my calculator so that I can figure out what I’m actually paying for free items and if it’s truly a deal!

4. Deceiving displays

Ever notice the items strategically placed at the entrance of an aisle to get your attention? At my local Harris Teeter, there’s a display of the more expensive candy bars like Lindt at the entrance of the makeup and hair aisle. Who do you think the marketing strategy is targeting? Women who are going to purchase makeup!
Be aware when unrelated items are placed elsewhere in stores! It’s a marketing strategy that’s been tested and works!
This is a guest article by Tammy from North Carolina. 
For more money-saving tips, check out:
4 Grocery Store Marketing Strategies to Avoid