Vegas And Veggies

For our Foodie Friday Fun this week I’d like to ask you what your local supermarket and a casino have in common?

Casino Royale en Las Vegas

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You might not have noticed but neither of them have clocks that are highly visible.  In the case of the supermarket there is a general rule that says the longer someone is in the store the more money they will spend (I suspect the same is true of a casino) so they don’t want anything to remind the customer that time has passed.  That’s one of the things each of these very different types of establishments do to increase sales.  You’ve probably never seen windows in either place (in fairness very few stores have windows other than up front), and both deploy a wide range of sensory stimuli to encourage spending: music, fragrances, lighting, even nuances like colors.

It’s really about engagement.  Does it surprise you that both casinos and supermarkets have researched how to create engagement for a very long time?  In my mind, the only reason that it should is that both do a fairly good job about not being obvious in the psychological tricks they use to create engagement.  Here is a quote from an interview with the manager of a Fairway store:

“The real secret of Fairway’s success is to make the shopping experience emotional,” the manager concluded. “We want our customers to be wowed by our unique product selection, service, and merchandising.”

Which is very good guidance for any of us in any business.  The strongest connection you can have with a customer is an emotional one.  Your pricing may change (for better or worse in the customer’s eyes) but their memories of having been treated like a special guest won’t.  If you’re tending to their needs and making sure they’re content instead of “doing transactions” you are creating a bond.  It can be with content or it can be an in-person interaction but engagement through an emotional connection is as good as it gets.

Think about that while you’re wandering the aisles!

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