9 tricks Aldi uses to make shoppers spend more revealed

ALDI is known for its low prices – but there are other ways the supermarket entices shoppers to spend money in stores.

We round-up nine tricks and tips used by the grocer, as revealed in the Channel 5 documentary Aldi’s Easter Secrets.

Aldi has come a long way since it first opened in the UK 30 years ago.

As well as now boasting more than 900 shops, the discounter has won a legion of fans and is regularly named cheapest supermarket in price comparison studies.

But there is more to shopping in Aldi than just its cheeky look-a-like products and low costs.

How to cut the cost of your grocery shop

MONEY.CO.UK has shared some top tips with us to help you keep your supermarket spend down to a minimum.

  • Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn't on your list, don't put it in the trolley
  • Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
  • Never shop hungry – You are far more likely to buy  more food if your tummy is rumbling
  • Don't buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they'll charge for chopping can be eye watering
  • Use social media – Follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
  • Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
  • Check the small print –  It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
  • Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards

1. Stores prepare you for shopping with a ‘decompression zone’

Aldi starts to get customers in the mood to shop as soon you step inside its stores through what the documentary described as a “decompression zone”.

For example, all its branches have a sharp right turn and automatic doors at their entrances that are designed to slow you down.

The idea is that this readies you to shop, and gives you a second to start looking at what’s on offer inside.

Aldi isn't the only store to have a "decompression zone" – Which? has previously noted it in Waitrose and Lidl too.

2. Doors are one-way to make you spend more time inside

Have you ever wondered why all Aldi stores have one-way doors?

In the documentary, it is claimed all shops are designed this way so customers spend more time inside.

It also means that by the time you’ve made your way to the exit, you’ve hopefully picked up a few goodies along the way.

3. Flowers and fruit and veg are at the front for a reason

It’s no accident that everything you see when you first walk into Aldi is fresh – think flowers, fruit and vegetables.

The supermarket went on a massive overhaul in 2017 – dubbed “project fresh” – so everything feels new in their store from the moment you walk in, giving the customer a nicer experience.

Before this, Aldi used to keep its fruit and vegetables at the back of stores.

Michael Sebti, shop and restaurant interior designer: “Project fresh really is designed to sweep away that functionalism and create something more much emotional.”

Having fruit and vegetable at the front of stores also means customers see its weekly Super 6 deals straight away.

4. Aldi aisles are designed like visual meal planners 

Aldi aisles are created to be like a “visual meal planner” so that customers can pick up everything they need as they go along.

In theory, it means you’re less likely to need to go to another shop if you can get everything you need in one place.

Siemon Scamell-Katz, a shopping psychology expert, explains: “A well organised retailer will take you from one logical product to the next one, to the next one.”

5. Eye level is ‘buy level’ and the premium products are always on show

Dr Amma Khan, senior lecturer in retailing at Manchester Metropolitan University, explained how Aldi puts the products it wants you to buy at eye level.

The idea is that if you’re in a rush, you’re most likely to see items that are at your height.

Dr Khan added: "You want to put your premium product or one with the highest margin in that space as you want the consumers to pick it up and buy it."

Placing products at eye level is a common tactic used by the majority of supermarkets.

6. Its 'looky-likey' products make items more recognisable

It’s no secret that part of Aldi’s success comes down to its clever dupes that look just like well-known brands.

But the reason why Aldi does this isn’t to be cheeky – instead, it’s so customers can instantly recognise what the product is.

For example, at Easter time Aldi has a chocolate bunny under its Moser Roth range that’s identical to Lindt but at a fraction of the price.

Paul Stainton, a former buyer and group director at Aldi, said: “The brief is never ‘I want to copycat brand X’.

“It will be we need to launch ‘product X’ and we need customers to understand it’s our equivalent of whatever it is.”

7. Aldi uses spotlights to make food stand out

Next time you’re in your local Aldi, take a good look around and you may notice the store itself has dark backdrops and signage.

This, along with the use of LED spotlighting, makes products “jump out” and instantly puts them in focus to the shopper.

8. Products are designed to make a buzz on social media

Aldi shoppers love a quirky product – and the more they can get people talking about their unusual range of foods, the better.

For example, it has an elaborate – and very Instagram-friendly – range of Easter chocolates this year, like its new premium Beehive egg. 

Experts say these types of designs are created to cause a buzz online, which in turn is “free advertising” for the supermarket.

Food writer Angela Clutton said: “If you can come up with an Easter egg that really gets a bit of buzz and people post about them on their Instagram, Facebook, whatever it may be, that’s free advertising.”

9. Unusual flavoured foods means you’re likely to find a favourite

Another thing you may have noticed when you shop in Aldi is that the supermarket has a huge range of certain products.

Right now, because of Easter, it has a staggering ten different types of hot cross buns – including unusual flavours like chilli and cheese and rhubarb and custard.

Siemon Scamell-Katz said the choice isn’t to cover all bases, but to find flavours that really stick out to customers.

He said: “You may find instead of selling one, you’ll sell four and perhaps instead of one favourite, you’ll get three favourites.”

We've also explained 10 Tesco secrets including its Aldi price match and the best time to shop.

Here are 16 tips to slash your supermarket shopping bill by HUNDREDS of pounds a year.

Top supermarket lockdown tricks – from getting delivery slots to the best time to visit.

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