Monday, July 22

15 Sneaky Ways Target Gets You to Spend More Money

Is Target trying to trick you? NOT on our watch!

Picture this: you need to make a Target run for a few household items you’re missing in your pantry. Two and a half hours later, you’re in the checkout line, the cart fully packed, and your total is way over what you planned to spend. We get it… It’s the Target Effect!

And it torments shoppers all over the US. But we found out that Target influences consumer spending in various subtle ways. This superstore has a way of getting us to spend our money on things we didn’t even know we needed.

Does this ever happen to YOU when you shop at Target? Do you find that your self-control nose dives every time you walk into the retailer, draining your wallet? If so, you’re not the only one this happens to!

Most of us have made impulse purchases and, at some point, tossed out our well-intentioned shopping lists. So read on to learn about 15 surprising reasons you tend to spend more at Target!

Target
Photo by melissamn at Shutterstock

The Dollar Spot

This is one of the most significant ways they get you. You’ve just walked in and finally decided whether you need a cart or a basket, and you notice the incredible deals in the dollar bins, which, let’s be honest: many items are more like $2 to $4.

Those decorative throw pillows may not have been on your shopping list, but they’re only a couple of dollars! You’re not gonna pass that up, are you? You’re already off to significant savings and ready to do some more shopping.

Yet, in reality, you’re off to a massive splurging start, and that number at the checkout will be way higher than you anticipated. All those dollar “deals” add up. And no matter how much you think you’re saving, purchasing something you didn’t plan to is never a steal!

The Pleasant Environment Call To You

Let’s admit one thing: Going to Target is just a delightful experience overall. It’s brightly lit and usually nice and clean, the red color is nurturing, and everything is arranged in an orderly and organized way.

Plus, their customer service is generally fantastic, and the selection of products throughout the store is relatively impressive. Well, they intentionally do that. All those enjoyable feelings will make you more inclined to part with your cash.

According to experts, emotions and mood are highly influenced by environmental factors like music, color, and lighting. If your emotions are managed, your demeanor will also change, influencing what you choose to buy.

This explains why things just seem to jump into your cart even though you didn’t go into the store looking for many of them.

The Layout Is Calculated

Like most big chain stores, Target has a considerable format that requires its customers to walk through numerous sections to get where they need to go.

This obviously adds to the temptation of browsing even though you may not have intended to spend three hours in this store. Marketing experts say that fun small-ticket items are displayed the second you step through those doors.

The next thing people pass is the women’s clothing section which has a boutique-like design that other stores may not have. So you must walk by all this before getting to your necessities like paper products, groceries, and hardware. Smart, right?

Sales, Coupons, And Price Perception

This store is a discount retailer, so consumers expect low prices. Add the Cartwheel app, RED card, and special deals like gift cards with qualifying purchases, and it’s difficult to avoid the siren song of a great deal.

All of these motivations not only keep you coming back, but they also keep you spending more money. After all, if the furniture is 25% off with the Cartwheel app, why wouldn’t you buy that beautiful nightstand or ottoman you’ve been eyeing?

The secret is to use discounts for what you actually require and create a list of those things to keep you from buying all that stuff you don’t need.

A survey from 2014 found that 85% of Target shoppers spend more than they intended when they visit the store without a list or budget.

They’ve Turned It Into A Treasure Hunt

It always feels fantastic when you get a good deal at the supermarket, snagging a highly discounted book or a pretty sweater on clearance. It kind of feels like you’re on a treasure hunt. That’s a deliberate method to get you to spend more money, according to marketing experts.

Stock is constantly rotated in and out. This doubles your chances of developing FOMO, making you more likely to buy something on the spot and less likely to wait.

The store also has apps and special programs that allow you to hunt for discounts, making you think you’ve been saving money left and right. It turns your shopping experience into a game.

But in reality, the store should be marking things down at the right price in the first place. All these discounts do is make you feel like you’re getting a deal when you’re not.

The Incredible Atmosphere

We’ve all seen those memes about new moms whose only vacation time is their weekly trip to Target. And you’ve definitely seen shoppers strolling through aisles with a Starbucks cup in hand as if casually strolling down the pier. Well, again, that’s intentional!

This store deliberately provides an inviting atmosphere that caters to consumers of all kinds. This is why they’ve got so many departments and deals, excellent displays…and coffee!

Target creates an entertaining, well-lit environment that you want to spend your time in, and they understand that the longer you linger through the isles, the more you’ll pay up.

To combat this, we recommend shopping online. You dodge the triggers while still taking advantage of savings.

The “Special” Shelves

Everything about this store is there to make your shopping experience and spending more money a lot easier. That’s why the store has recently put in angled shelves, according to marketing specialists.

Target has started to merchandise their items with angled shelves in many of the store’s areas, including the health, home, and beauty section, because it will allow consumers to spot the products they may or may not be looking for more easily from the drive aisle, rather than the standard shelves that compel them to go down a long aisle of shelving to find a new item.

Target
Photo by rblfmr at Shutterstock

They’re All About Cross-selling

Have you ever noticed that when you’ve gone to Target to pick up a new piece of furniture, you found the tools you needed to assemble it in the same area? Or maybe during your holiday shopping, you found tape right next to the wrapping paper.

Well, that makes perfect sense because Target is a pro at cross-selling. The stores already have a good idea about what path shoppers take. For example, Walmart used to be famous for putting things like Band-Aids next to fishing hooks and so on.

This is something you don’t inherently associate, but once you see them together, it JUST makes sense. This tactic is an excellent way to get shoppers to spend more money than they expected. So when people go in the store for something in one category, they can cross-sell.

Target sells things that complement the following product category by ensuring they’re right beside each other. Genius, right?

That Classic Red Colored Target

Target’s corporate color may seem innocent enough. But it’s actually intended to make you spend more money in the store. Research shows that red boosts sales because the color encourages us to move and get enthusiastic.

Red is also associated with bargains, whereas colors like gold or black tend to be associated with cost and luxury. Target’s ingenious color-scheming helps to facilitate the sale atmosphere, therefore leading you to want to spend your money.

So if you think you’re getting a good deal on everything, you’re more likely to buy everything there than go to different stores for better prices.

The Store Puts Items Where You’ll Easily Find Them

We’ve already concluded that this megastore gets people to spend more money by tempting them to purchase things that aren’t on their shopping list.

One of the most significant ways they do this is by putting non-essential products close to the most necessary and popular things people buy the most. So finding what you need and MIGHT need is effortless.

The products we’re talking about are somewhat related and usually complement each other. This may be helpful for some consumers. But if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to go in with a set shopping list and stick to it!

They Use “Psychological Pricing”

One thing Target does that the store isn’t alone in doing is using “psychological pricing” to make you think a product costs less than it does. A cute pair of shoes might be priced at $49.99 instead of $50.00, and the laundry detergent could be $9.99 instead of $10.00.

That could clearly throw a wrench into how fast and accurately you calculate how much you’re spending in the store. But does that technique trick shoppers into thinking something is more affordable than it actually is? Yes, according to marketing execs.

They give you the belief that you’re getting a deal. Because it has a nine on the end of it, it seems to be on sale, so how could you pass up a deal like that?

Pair that with the fact that you likely already expect to see fair prices at Target, and you can see why it’s so easy to spend a massive chunk of change at this retailer.

They Collaborate With Lots Of Cool Designers

You could probably buy most of what you find at Target at other stores…if it wasn’t for all their exclusive partnerships! That’s why this store gets so many people through its doors in the first place.

Designer collaborations lure in many shoppers who might not otherwise shop at Target. At the same time, Target’s regular shoppers get to try out a brand that may not be in their price range otherwise.

Those limited-edition clothing line collaborations also have a reputation for selling out fast and attracting more consumers to this store.

Smart Tip: If you regularly buy clothes here, make sure you find out the secret markdown schedule Target has every week.

Those Grocery Carts Are THAT Big For Good Reason

When you decide to go on a Target run to just pick up “a few things,” you already know what the prices are going to be like and are satisfied enough with the brand to trust that they won’t cheat you.

Target, Walmart, and many other big brand places have kind of established themselves as stores where you can go, and you pretty much know you’re going to get a good deal, and things aren’t going to be overly expensive.

So people tend to treat it like the grocery store, where they just throw random stuff into their cart. Raise your hand if we’re talking about YOU! But all jokes aside, you may have noticed that Target’s shopping carts are more significant than those anywhere else.

No, you didn’t imagine it because they’re about a third larger than a standard cart in any other store. And that big cart just encourages you to fill it up more. No wonder spending money in there is a breeze!

You Can ALWAYS Count On Target For Seasonal Items

Do you love going out in the fall and turning your front yard into an Autumn scene with many pumpkin decorations?

Then you’re probably the same way when Christmas comes around, ensuring you have a new seasonal wreath for the front door and lots of shiny ornaments for your magical Christmas tree.

(Side Note: If your Christmas tree is starting to look a bit glum after all those years of use, we recommend grabbing this one from Amazon!)

If you completely understand what we’re talking about, you should make an annual trek to Target to scope out that year’s seasonal inventory…that is, if you don’t already! Target is a leader in all seasonal items.

But you might not know that the store strategically places its seasonal items in a specific place to get you to spend more cash. That’s why you usually find them at the back of the store, which means you have to walk the entire space of Target to get to the holiday goods.

Meaning? You guessed it! You’re more likely to see other items you didn’t go in for and may pick up a few things on your way to that adorable wreath.

Target
Photo by Rawpixel.com at Shutterstock

They Spend A LOT On Marketing

Have you ever been inside Target and had the sudden “I never knew I needed this, but I REALLY do” feeling? Don’t worry, we ALL have. All regular customers of this big brand retailer know exactly what we’re talking about. But make no mistake about this.

There isn’t anything random about having those moments. Target pays big bucks to marketing execs to find out who you really are. This means: your gender, how much money you make, where you live if you have a family, and so on. They also study you psychographically.

We’re talking about lifestyle, hobbies, ethics, etc. After finding out all this info about you, they integrate their product, price, place, and advertising in a variety of combinations that resonate with who you are as an individual. Sneaky? How about just creepy?

So how exactly does this store deduce how to sell you exactly what you didn’t know you might need? They hire people to analyze metadata, conduct focus groups, and sort through TONS of demographic information. This is all to part you from all that money in your wallet!

And while you might be thinking that it has to cost a lot of money to finance something like this, it’s clearly worth it since we all have a tendency to spend more money than we planned to at the checkout line!

What is YOUR feeling on the matter? Did you find yourself nodding to any of these tricks we wrote about? Be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

And if you found this article useful, we’ve got many more like it. For instance, Having a Garage Sale? Make Lots of Cash With These 5 Tricks!

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