The ‘Milk Cabinet’ Strategy: How Coles & Woolworths Make You Spend More

You’re going to love this sneaky tactic. 

Have you ever stopped to think about the marketing tactics that big retailers like Woolworths and Coles used to get more out of their customers? 

Well… I like to call this one the “milk cabinet strategy”, and it’s a simple but effective way for retailers to make more money from their customers every day. 

And in most cases, people won’t even realise what’s happening. 

The milk cabinet strategy is all about product placement. 

Specifically, it refers to the placement of the milk cabinets in stores like Woolworths and Coles. These stores typically place the milk cabinets towards the back of the store, even though it would be more convenient for customers to have them at the front.

…And the reason for this is so simple: it’s a marketing tactic to get customers to spend more money. By placing the milk cabinets at the back of the store, this means the customers will have to walk through multiple different departments, like the fruit and veg, bakery, and meat unit. 

This increases the chances that customers will see something they forgot about or missed on another day or something that’s on sale, and end up buying it.

So, for example, a customer who initially came in just to buy a $2 carton of milk, may end up spending $10, $15, or even $20+ just to get that carton of milk. And that’s how big retailers like Woolworths and Coles are able to make more money from their customers every day.

But the milk cabinet strategy is not just limited to the physical stores, it’s also applied in the e-commerce platforms. Retailers use this strategy by keeping the products that they want to promote more visible, while keeping the products that are less important less visible. This way the customers will have to navigate through multiple pages before they find the product they are looking for, and this increases the chances that they will find other products that they might be interested in.

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Jamie Williamson

Head Honcho @ Umped