"It's all about color. It's about the word 'new.' It's about the seal that's on the package," said /*Phil Lempert*/, a market analyst. "Anything that product can do to jump out in front of us is going to increase the odds that we're going to buy it."
Lempert has spent years studying why consumers buy. He says retailers capitalize on the science behind buying power, hitting unsuspecting consumers where it counts: their senses.
"Whether it's fruit, or flowers, or bakery, one of the strongest senses that we have is our sense of smell," said Lempert.
That's why you'll find sections that offer aromatherapy at the front of the stores. The deli section, sushi selections and coffee bars are all designed to keep you in the store longer to buy even more.
"When you [listen to] the music in the store, it was programmed as if it were a radio station," said Lempert.
One study showed that when French music was played, 77 percent of consumers bought more French wine. They also discovered music with a tempo slower than the human heartbeat caused shoppers to spend more time in the store.
Pairing products is another technique to subliminally suggest you might need more. That's why you may find avocados in the chip aisle and limes in close proximity to beer.
"Everything they can do to put an idea in your head that says, 'Buy both of these and you're going to be a success,'" said Lempert.
Surprisingly, colors encourage us to buy as well. In our mind's eye, red is stimulating, yellow products appear larger, green speaks to healthy indulgences, while brown screams masculine. Finally, black signals decadence. Even products with national colors catch our eye and remind us of home.
Research shows we can't really blame the manufacturer for trying to get us to make that purchase. Research shows we take less than 1/26th of a second to make a decision about a product. They know that shape, size, color and even past memories play a role in your choice.
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