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And that’s how malls trick our senses to make us buy more and more

Monday, 7 January 2013 - 8:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Ever wondered how your jaunt to a movie hall at the neighbourhood mall ended with three heavy shopping bags.

Ever wondered how your jaunt to a movie hall at the neighbourhood mall ended with three heavy shopping bags.

While you may shrug it off as a bit of indulging, little did you realise that the moment you stepped in the mall an entire machinery started working to prod you to buy things you did not even need. 
Also, you did not notice that while it was easy to reach to the movie hall you had to cross all the shops on the way back. 

“The entry to the hall is in such a way that it ensures moviegoers don’t have to cross many shops. This is because they may be in a hurry and won’t have the time to shop. The exit, however, is placed such that the crowd is released in the middle of the mall. With the movie over, one is in a relaxed mood and can be encouraged for an impulse buy,” said real estate expert Pranay Vakil.
The mall is built like a maze and escalators are far away, encouraging window shopping while people navigate their way, said an architect. 

Among the tricks malls deploy to make visitors buy is bunching interconnected things.
So if there is a creche, adjacent to it you will find a babycare shop to tempt parents going to drop the baby to the creche to make a quick purchase.

Clustering is another tactic mall owners deploy, said Arvind Singhal of Technopak Advisors. “For instance, many women apparel stores will be next to each other. While a shopper may resist the temptation to buy from one shop, but a number of shops may weaken the determination.”

Also, a food court is always on the top floor, ensuring that while going and coming back from the food court you can scan the stores on your way.

Not just the mall, the shops too are full of inducements with stores designed and products placed in a way that encourages buying. 

A retailer will ensure that the store’s flagship product is buried inside the outlet. So as you walk through the aisles, it is likely that you will stop by to pick up other things, too.
Moreover, when a shopping cart is handed over to you at the start of the shopping the idea is not just convenience. When you have a basket, you are more likely to throw in anything that catches
your fancy without a second thought, said an expert.

Also, to encourage in-house brands, retailers stack their goods next to other expensive items, which makes private brands appear cheaper.

Retailers also make packaging and design of their products similar to the branded products, so that a buyer in a hurry won’t spot the difference.

They are even putting small cafes inside stores, said Singhal of Technopak.
“This is because once you step in to grab a bite, it is likely that you will spend some more time in the store. Moreover, with the stomach full you may not mind stopping by to check what’s more on offer,” he said. 

Even the online shopping world is laden with traps.

Many a times, shopping sites inflate the original price to make discounts seem steeper.

Group buying sites have a small ticking clock next to the advertised deal, giving an impression that time is flying by. And you surrender to the urgency that sets in and add the deal to the cart.

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