What Your Local Supermarket Can Teach You About Strategic Upselling Psychology

How Does Your Local Supermarket Teach You About Strategic Upselling Psychology



What Can You Learn About Strategic Upselling Psychology From Your Local Supermarket?



For some marketers and funnel creators who are new to online marketing, it can be incredibly eye-opening to find out that your trip to your local grocery store is actually a journey through a sales funnel.



Think about it…….The aisles of your grocery store are like one big maze, leading you toward spending more and more money.  And the supermarkets have spent a lot of time and money to make sure that giant funnel works at its best.


“They’ve done a lot of the work for us already, so why shouldn’t we borrow some of it?”……says Stephen Esketzis, ClickFunnels





In today’s post, you will find out how these strategies can be used to help you when you are building your next sales funnel….




Strategy #1 – Core Products Are Placed at Opposite Ends of Supermarkets

  • Have you ever noticed that when you’re in the grocery store, the milk is in a completely different spot than the bread?
  • By doing this, supermarkets ensure that you have to travel to the store to finish a regular shopping trip.
  • By including your core items, (say your offers), at different spots of your funnel, you’re ensuring that your customers go on for the entire journey.


Strategy #2 – The Checkout Lane is All About Upselling

  • When shoppers hit the checkout lane, there’s a prime opportunity to expose them to a selection of smaller items that might catch their attention.
  • If you aren’t using the checkout portion of your sales funnel for upselling, you’re missing out.
  • Add in some non-essential items at the end of your sales funnel and ask your customers if they’ve considered adding them on.


Strategy #3 – Figuring out the Best Complementary Products

  • Beer and peanuts, peanut butter and jelly.
  • Being able to pair items together is a great example of how to subtly suggest to your customers that if they’re buying one, why not buy the other?
  • While spacing core items out in your sales funnel is a good habit, pairing items, even at a discount when bought together, is a way to take advantage of your customer’s natural psychology.


Strategy #4 – Engage All of Their Senses

  • When you walk into the supermarket, what’s the first thing you notice?
  • Probably the delicious smell from the bakery.
  • The next thing you know, you’re starving… and “shopping with your stomach.”
  • Of course, your sales funnel is a little bit different since you’re likely not selling groceries.
  • But that doesn’t mean that you can’t engage all the senses throughout your funnel to increase the chances of converting.
  • Content can include descriptive words that inspire all your senses.


Strategy #5 – Creating an Atmosphere with Music

  • Music can be a powerful motivator in evoking emotions and general feelings.
  • Think about other ways you can set the mood throughout your sales funnel, putting your prospects at ease and putting them in the buying mood.




Strategy #6 – “Eye Level is Buy Level.”

  • The idea is that there’s a sweet spot when it comes to placing higher ticket items in a sales funnel.
  • Supermarkets often place these products right at eye level, so they’re the first ones you see when you’re scanning the shelves.
  • For your sales funnel, think about that sweet spot for each element, that zone that gives you the most bang for your buck.
  • This will help increase ROI, but also further strengthen the experience your audience has.
  • When building your sales funnel, consider how you can offer a regular item, but also a completely ready-to-go version that entices your customer to spend a little more.


Strategy #7 – More Coupons than You’ve Ever Seen

  • It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that people like sales.
  • It feels good to get something at a discount or even for free.
  • This is where your sales funnel can benefit from either having a discount at the end or where offers and giveaways come in very handy.
  • A free ebook download or a snazzy mug with your company’s logo on it… these are small ways your sales funnel can draw people in because they’re attracted to the idea of getting a deal.


Strategy #8 – Make Your Customer’s Feel Spontaneous

  • Your funnel doesn’t always have to feel like a step-by-step process to your leads.
  • You should be planning out their every move, so they don’t even have to worry about it.
  • This increases the potential of your sales funnel, but it also means they’re really enjoying the experience.



Supermarkets have figured out that we have a natural desire to stock up as well as to save. But we also have a habit of not always doing the math or of not being able to plan correctly for all that excess stuff we’ve bought.  Where appropriate, add in offers to upsize at a discount.



I’m sure you’ve noticed a few tricks or two when you’ve been at the supermarket.



If you enjoyed this post and found TONS OF VALUE, please take a moment and share…..Thank you 🙂


Sharing IS Caring!


To Your Success,
Joan Harrington


P.S. – To be successful online, there are 2 essential tools that you HAVE to have… an email autoresponder, and a converting sales funnel…..CLICK HERE FOR A SPECIAL OFFER

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41 thoughts on “What Your Local Supermarket Can Teach You About Strategic Upselling Psychology

  1. susanmarymalone says:

    This is fascinating, Joan. And obviously true, as I found myself nodding at all of these about walking through the grocery store! The one that caught me about my business is the eye-level part. Hm. I need to go take a look at my biz website and see what’s the first thing writers see. May need to change things up! Thank you!

  2. Oh yes! The grocery store analogy is so right on! While I understand why they separate core things, I do wish they kept things a little closer for when I dash in! I would not have thought to have utilized music in my sales funnel. I’m curious to see how you do that. I love learning new things!

    • Thank you Jennifer! Music can be so soothing……picture it as you are in the grocery store what kind of music they are playing……think about how this will affect your customer going through your sales funnel…..makes them feel “calmer”,yes?

  3. Tamuria says:

    I haven’t really considered the supermarket from a sales perspective but what you say makes so much sense, Joan. For me, it’s a dash through with the odd grumble that the milk and bread are so far from each other and that the checkout is packed with temptations, especially when I have a Goddess in tow. I’ll be seeing all that in a whole new light now and trying to use your tips to incorporate it into my own business.

    • I know right Tamuria, lol? After sharing this post, it made me more aware of how well our supermarkets know how to market 😉 Those little areas of “tempting” offers at the checkout, gotta love how they know how to “entice” the customer to “buy” more!!

  4. Hey Joan,

    I have never even thought about that a supermarket can make us learn something about online business and more. You have mentioned some great points here.

    Creating an environment with music is what I prefer tha most.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Have a great day.

  5. OMG Joan,

    Since I have been marketing I always notice this. Sometimes when I’m shopping with David we often comment on it. We look for flaws in this giant sales funnel of the supermarket. Once one becomes a marketer, you see it everywhere…even in the supermarket.

    It takes a good “trained eye” to skip that eye level and look below for the real deals he he he


  6. Joyce Hansen says:

    So true, Joan. Supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stops everything is about location and positioning. Then there is even greater psychochology to attract you when it comes to packaging size, shape and colors. Is’s a science that works and thanks for making the comparison for us.

  7. Having spent some time in the food industry, I do know that shelf positioning is also about who pays the most money to be at eye level and who pays to be featured. 🙂 As a small gourmet ice cream shop, we were always ‘fighting’ just to even be on the shelf. The supermarket is a great analogy and one I really get. My mother and daughter are more susceptible to wandering the isles, although personally, since all the ‘real’ food is on the periphery, I rarely shop in the inner isles of a store and go for the good stuff on the outside isles. It would be interesting to see how that would relate to an online presence too. Great tips in this post and ones we all can take something from to apply to our sites. Thanks!

  8. Yes, I have noticed this too. I am a shopper who primarily only visits the perimeter areas – produce, deli and such as that is where the healthiest food is. Once you get in the middle aisles it is mostly boxed, canned and processed. But the marketing tactics are all over…in pretty much most stores.

  9. this was so fascinating. I always knew about the impulse items at checkout but never gave any thought to the staples being at opposite corners. I will give some serious thought to how I can apply these principles to my own business. thanks!

  10. heraldmarty says:

    Wow, I never thought about it before but you are so right Joan! I mean I am aware of the thinking behind how grocery stores do what they do because my dad worked as a manager for Safeway for 40+ years, I just never saw the comparison to what I do. Great tips and you’ve definitely got me thinking!

  11. Well, I’ll never look at my local supermarket the same Joan. I love marketing funnels and how they go from email to free thing to an upsell on a paid thing…many variations on that theme.

  12. Joan, what a terrific analog for businesses. I kept agreeing as I was reading. Now to figure out how to incorporate these ideas into my business, especially complementary services….

  13. Hey Joan, it’s nice to be here on your blog and I must commend you for this beautiful blog in which you’ve done a good job at creating and grooming with amazing content. 🙂

    I love this post and I think I love the idea of using music to catch buyers attention. 🙂 Music is great and a good connector with the human soul.

    Another point you well mentioned was/is putting your products in your audiences eyes. I like that one!

    Coupon are also a good well to driving people in to participate with your products trust me, I love coupons, it’s the only reason I have come to love and use Godaddy. 🙂

    Thanks for this powerful post, Joan.

    And you must know I appreciate all of your comments on my blog. I love and don’t joke with them one bit.


  14. Great post!!

    If there is one aspect of marketing the big guys know about… it’s how to handle supermarkets!

    They have got it down to a science.

    Thought provoking info here. Thank you!

  15. I find the psychology of the supermarket to be interesting. I actually teach a course on how to supermarket shop and support your health goals at the same time. I will share your article with my students 🙂

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