Martin Lindstrom, Buyology: Why We Buy Stuff

Here’s a great video featuring Martin Lindstrom, author of Buy.ology and neuromarketing guru, sharing with us the “tricks” that retailers use to get us to buy more stuff:

Fascinating learnings from this video:

  • 90% of what we buy are unconscious decisions
  • 60% of what we buy is decided in 4 seconds
  • The size of the shopping basket – the bigger the shopping basket, the more shoppers will put in. There is a subconscious need to “fill up” the cart
  • The presence of other shoppers in a store influences you to buy the more “premium” item. Without the presence of other shoppers, you would buy the cheapest brand available. Apparently, there is some subconscious desire to show/portray an image to the other shoppers that you can afford better stuff! This is why stores 1) make sure that there are lots of people/traffic within and 2) are designed in a way that shoppers can see each other.
  • 2-for-the-price-of-1 deals are sometimes not a deal at all! 2 trays of strawberries may contain less strawberries than one large one. Yet consumers will always go for the 2 trays – because they think they are getting a deal.
  • Limiting quantities for purchase – by just adding the phrase “Limit 3 per customer”, retail stores create a false sense of scarcity and limitation. Shoppers react by being greeding and buying the maximum amount allowed to them in order to ensure they don’t “lose out” – even if they never intended to buy that many quantities of the same product!
  • The smell of fresh cut grass in a DIY store subconsciously influences customers to think that service levels have increased (in Lindstrom’s experiment, by 49%!). This is because scent is a good trigger for subconscious feelings and memories.




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