Retailer Hide And Seek: Fostering Impulse Purchases
Retailer Hide and Seek is a nice way of describing how merchants have a tendency to constantly re-arrange their stores layouts or move things… maybe even from one department to another that seems to have no relation to the product in question. (Will someone please give me the rationale for Wally World putting the Bath Soap up front with the Make-Up instead of with the rest of the soap?)
Merchants will tell you this “re-arranging” is to make the store more inviting.
The reality is that when you have to go looking for something you have to pass a lot of other merchandise and you might think… “OOOHH! I always wanted toenail polish in that shade of purple!”
Strictly to try and influence impulse buying.
When something is not in the place you expect it and got it the last time you now have to run all over the store looking for it… forget about asking a sales associate for help… ever try to find one in a supercenter… one of those 250,000 sq ft monsters (that’s 5 ACRES under one roof folks).
If you are lucky enough to find one they probably have no idea where what you want is other than a general…”its over that way.. I think… would you like the GPS coordinates for that area?”
There is no reason to spend all the money on the labor to move things around unless there is a significant payoff in increased sales… and believe you me it works or they all wouldn’t do it.
Does it sometimes backfire though?
My personal gripe is none other than Best Buy… I only go in once in a very great while because every time I go in everything is in a different place… sometimes I want a movie. I can at least discern the taller than average display racks over the others in the store so that parts not so bad but once I needed some CD sleeves for storage.
Used to be over with… yep, the CD’s… not anymore after finally finding an associate I found they had been moved to Computer Accessories and was told that because they hadn’t been selling well the selection had been trimmed back… DUH!!
If I want to store music wouldn’t I go to the Music Accessories? Why would I go to Computers?
But on our walk (the associate at least knew where they were and took me too them) across the store I got to see all sorts of nifty new toys including a Wii and some new digital cameras… all of which stayed on the shelf.
After 45 minutes I was so disgusted I left without buying anything and I ended up ordering some from online. How many others though got sidetracked and on impulse bought the Wii? Or a new camera??
What all this has done is aggravated me to the point that I don’t go into Best Buy unless I absolutely have to and if I do I immediately go to the service desk and ask for help finding what I came in for.
I don’t want to play Hide And Seek with the merchandise and I resent them thinking that my time isn’t valuable to me… that I have all day to spend lallygagging around their store.
So the attempts to get me to impulse shop have backfired… I don’t shop there at all unless I have to and they’ve lost what would sometimes be a casual customer who might come in to peruse the DVD’s and CD’s.
Based on the amount of “Hide and Seek” that goes on though I am in a small minority.
Do any of you hate this game they play on us and resent the waste of your time?
Would you be much happier if the merchants left things in the same place all the time?
Photo credit: stock.xchng.