I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I heard that once in a while, supermarkets move their items around, from one shelf to another, this way, customers walk around to look for the things they want to buy, and end up stay a bit longer, or even purchase things that are not in their original shopping list. I definitely experience this in Costco.
Well, most times I don’t enjoy it, especially when I need to get my stuff and get out fast. Occasionally, it’s enjoyable to wander around just to see what’s new.
I think the merchandisers should help their customers to achieve what they want by taking care of those who want to get in and out fast — likely the majority, while making it possible for those who enjoy staying a bit longer. It’s actually a balance that’s pretty hard to achieve, because a store needs to live and it’s always good to have people to buy more, but at the same time, you don’t want to piss them off.
One of the solutions I really enjoy is Target.com. I just learned that you can set a home store on target.com, then if you search for an item, it shows how many items left in that store and in what aisle. If it’s not available, you can switch to another store nearby, and find the exact aisle. This way, you can locate the item immediately and get done with shopping really fast. I think they may move things around, and yet they do a great job to sync their online (website) and offline (in store) catalogs. This is so convenient for customers (who know this trick).
There may be other good solutions out there. It’s a space worth exploring.