Lost in the Supermarket: Men Without Lists
Men are shopping more, but women still make the grocery decisions.
Super Marketing continued...
"The grocery is trying to do a lot of things, and a lot of
it is based on efficiency," Hutchinson tells WebMD. "They want to keep
their loyal customers and they want to get people in and out as fast as
possible. In the meantime, they try to sell you some things. They're trying to
move a lot of volume through the store as fast as they can."
About 80% of grocery store purchases are straight rebuys, says
Herbert Jack Rotfeld, PhD, professor of marketing at Auburn University and
editor of the Journal of Consumer Affairs. That means we have a good
chance of emerging from the grocery store without too much overbuying.
"I am optimistic about people's ability to handle
things," Rotfeld tells WebMD. "People go in with their coupons and
their lists. It's not a free-for-all."
Getting More From the Store
Rotfeld's optimism notwithstanding, there's lots of room for
error. That's because two-thirds of our grocery-shopping decisions are made
in the store, says Barbara E. Kahn, PhD, director of the Wharton
undergraduate division and Dorothy Silberberg Professor of Marketing at The
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
"People come in with a general idea of what they are going
to buy, but their lists tend to be vague," Kahn tells WebMD. "When
decisions are made in the store, you are vulnerable to cues such as corner
displays, big red 'Value!' arrows, and other in-store merchandising."
Some of these cues result in impulse buying. A true impulse buy
is hard to resist. That's because it's not a conscious act.
"Impulse buying is an emotional, almost out-of-control sort
of desire to grab something right now without much thought for its
consequence," Mick says.
But cues also get us to make unplanned purchases. This isn't
necessarily a bad thing. A big red arrow, for example, may alert us to a good
buy on our favorite kind of soup. We may not have planned to buy soup, but we
can save a little by picking up a couple of cans now, so why not?