The Human Behaviour

Are you Buying More Than Necessary? How does Walmart do it?

How Giant Stores like Walmart Strategically Place Commodities to Manipulate Customers into Buying More and More Things:

Last week, I had to buy some groceries, and for the one-stop shop, I chose Walmart. I like things ordered and organized, so I had a list of items marked as very important. Then, it came down to extras. I started with the most essential item. As I navigated my way from one shelf to another, I was allured by the mugs on the next shelf and desperately needed to buy a few mugs for the kitchen.

Then, as I was searching for the following item, I saw some very adorable plush toys and instantly felt as if I needed them, so I bought one. This continued to happen as I searched for the items, and after 2 hours, I had so many unnecessary items in the cart, and I still had not bought many essentials. On the bill counter, the bill was 30 percent more than I had allocated for today’s shopping.

Did it ever happen to you? I’m dead sure it would have. But It is not a coincidence but rather an implanted strategy to maximize sales, and very few people can stay out of the trap.

This blog is about strategically placing commodities to manipulate customers into buying more than they need. So stay with me. Some tips can help you save some bucks at these stores.


What Does Walmart Do to Make You Shop More?

Here are a few subtle hacks that Walmart does to grab your attention and make you spend more:

●     Essential Grocery Items Are Arranged Towards The End or Distant Sides of The Store:

Have you ever noticed that getting to the essential groceries you need at a Superstores requires navigating a maze of other merchandise and displays? That isn’t a coincidence.


Ben Sweeney, a business development and marketing strategist with ClydeBank Media who has experience with store-level merchandising, stated that he frequently observes brands in the grocery segment placing staples like bread, milk, and eggs far from the store entrance. It seems contradictory: staples should be accessible and close to the door, right? However, by positioning staples far from the door, these brands make customers pass by more displays on their way to the products they came to buy.

●     Their Tagline Persuades You That You Are Not Spending a Lot of Money:

The cornerstone of Walmart’s business strategy is “Everyday Low Prices,” which sounds pretty good and makes a good amount of money.

Paul Sundin, a CPA, tax strategist, and CEO of Emparion, stated that Walmart “continually reminds buyers that they have low prices.” “For many years, Walmart has used low prices to attract customers. People will choose low prices because they want to save money. But what actually happens is that they become overly enamored with the items’ low prices and want to purchase more.

Let me give you an example here: you get a sale offer, and when you enter a shop, you buy with the mindset that they are on discount and that you are saving money, but actually, you will buy maybe three or four extra items addition to the original price that you will buy in the other case.

●     Free Returns with No Hassle Sums:

Would you return something once you’ve bought it? Perhaps. Shops are deftly betting that you won’t. In a 2018 NPR/Marist survey, 91% of American internet shoppers said they “only rarely” or “never” return online items.

“Walmart’s easy return policy encourages customers to spend more,” stated Sue Hirst, CFO On-Call’s co-founder. Customers are encouraged to shop more by this benefit. Easy return policies with extended return periods have been shown to boost sales in retail establishments.

The list is endless. Here are some additional strategies used by Walmart and its rivals, Target and Costco, to entice customers to become devoted patrons and, ideally, indulge in excessive spending.

●     “BOGO!” Hey, You Got Tricked Here!:

BOGO, or “Buy One, Get One Free,” is another popular offer. Who wouldn’t want to purchase a product and receive a bonus item for free? Your consumer brain is trying to trick you with that.

According to Kristin Uptain, marketing manager of Redde Payments, “big-box retailers frequently use what it called psychology hacks to convert more sales: Walmart is notorious for using the BOGO sale hack to increase profit, especially when it comes to their clothing and accessories.” “The BOGO discount deceives customers into thinking they receive a better bargain.

For instance, a “buy one, get one free” promotion would lead someone to believe they could get two items for the price of one, Uptain said. However, this encourages you to spend more, increasing Walmart’s sales every time. No matter the season, Walmart has regular sales with discounted merchandise. For instance, a pair of $40 jeans is usually discounted by 50% at Walmart. This offer is valid whenever there is no special discount applied. The seller only paid $10 for the $40 jeans. Therefore, if the seller is 50% off ($40/2 = $20) on a sale like this, they will profit $10. $20 – $10 = $10).


According to Uptain, Walmart will make more money using the BOGO model than they would have with a regular 50% off sale. As you can see, the seller paid $10 for each pair of jeans, meaning that the total cost to the seller for two pairs is $20. However, in a “buy one get one free” promotion, the buyer would have to pay the total price for one pair of jeans to receive the second pair for free.

This indicates that Walmart will make $20 on this sale (after deducting their wholesale purchase price), which is twice as much as they would have on a typical sale. They persuade the buyer to make larger purchases, which enables Walmart to earn more money per transaction than they otherwise would.

●     Superstores Serve As Brand Walk-in Advertisements:

Have you ever entered a store believing that your preferred cereal brand has taken over the operation? This is also no coincidence.

Retailers “basically invite manufacturers and suppliers to come and actively advertise their products in-store,” according to personal finance expert and founder Swati Chalumuri. Merchandisers are aggressive salespeople who occupy entire aisles, give generous discounts, and distribute freebies. It’s difficult to resist such impressive exhibits and “saving” opportunities, so you make impulsive purchases or purchase larger quantities than you usually would.

●     Use of Tech and Mobile Apps:

Walmart has a valid reason for encouraging customers to download its app. Retail Dive reports that customers who use Walmart’s app spend 40% more than those who don’t.

Do you know why? Mobile apps are giving up to 40 % discounts, and the money consumers think they are saving is overspent.

●     The Food is Your Trap:

Let me define the perfect environment of a superstore. When you enter, you first notice the smell of delicious food reaching your nose, and you are allured to feel hungry, if not hungry, so you can pick a cup of coffee while you shop.

Many people won’t buy anything while shopping, but as soon as it’s time to leave the store, they want to buy something to eat.

●     Alas!  The Music Too in a Trap:

When you enter an aesthetic restaurant and a mall, what is typical? That’s the choice of music. At supermarkets, calming music is played to make the customers’ experience more calming so that they buy more goods.

●     Big Trolley Means More Items:

Have you noticed that your shopping carts have gotten larger recently? Or have you ever raced around your preferred supermarket, searching in vain for smaller baskets? That isn’t a coincidence. Retailers know we tend to fill them up when they enlarge their carts. According to a study conducted in the United States, when shopping trolleys were made 100% larger, customers made 20% more purchases without even realizing it.

●     Want To Spend Less Buy From Upper Shelves:

Retailers know our busy schedules and how difficult it can be to move our eyes around the store. Because of this, the priciest, highest-margin items are always displayed at eye level. You can save a lot of money if you only shop from the best shelves. Except in one case, does the eye-level rule apply? Big-name brands are almost always sugar-filled or targeted at a younger demographic if you see them at eye level with adults. Sweet cereals for kids, princess tattoos, superhero gear, and everything else is nearly always placed at a child’s eye level.

●     Loyalty Cards Are a Trap:

To save us money, loyalty cards pose as customer-friendly clubs, but their true purpose is to gather as much data as possible about our purchasing patterns to upsell us more goods. A supermarket can determine what you buy when you buy it, your age, whether you are married, whether you have children, if any if it carefully uses the data it gathers. It knows your residence, credit card usage, and preferred DVDs to watch. It even has access to the most private information about your daily self-care regimen.


Big-box stores like Walmart spend a lot of money trying to get you to spend theirs. However, you can easily avoid their deceptive advertising. You must create a list of necessary items and stick to it when creating your budget.

“Wise consumers make a list and stick to it,” according to Sweeney.

It’s a fundamental method of avoiding clever marketing campaigns, but it works—especially when waiting in line at the register and tempted by all those delicious candies and snacks.

How Giant Stores like Walmart Strategically Place Commodities to Manipulate