Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping

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9781587990441: Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping

Shopping: there's a lot more to it if you know how to look. We speed up when we walk past a bank (nothing to look at, of course), so if you don't want your customers to shoot straight past you, don't open your shop next to a bank. And once you've lured them in, whatever you do, don't put key items just inside the door. This is "decompression zone" where we take the five to 15 paces we need to adjust to the shop's lighting and slow down from normal walking pace to browsing. And don't ever put menswear at the back of the shop; male customers don't like having to walk through womenswear. And while we're in womenswear, don't place goods that require close scrutiny in narrow aisles. Your female customers will leave if they are brushed or knocked by passing shoppers. Understanding the science of shopping is fascinating, but it can be hugely profitable. By using state-of-the-art observational techniques and research methods grounded in anthropology and environmental psychology, Paco Underhill uncovers the secrets that have made him the retail industry's most sought-after adviser, with clients including McDonald's, Levi-Strauss, Coca-Cola and Sony. Why We Buy is essential reading for anyone involved in the business of consumer products and is a hugely entertaining read for all of us who have that one thing in common. We shop.

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Review:

In an effort to determine why people buy, Paco Underhill and his detailed-oriented band of retail researchers have camped out in stores over the course of 20 years, dedicating their lives to the "science of shopping." Armed with an array of video equipment, store maps, and customer-profile sheets, Underhill and his consulting firm, Envirosell, have observed over 900 aspects of interaction between shopper and store. They've discovered that men who take jeans into fitting rooms are more likely to buy than females (65 percent vs. 25 percent). They've learned how the "butt-brush factor" (bumped from behind, shoppers become irritated and move elsewhere) makes women avoid narrow aisles. They've quantified the importance of shopping baskets; contact between employees and shoppers; the "transition zone" (the area just inside the store's entrance); and "circulation patterns" (how shoppers move throughout a store). And they've explored the relationship between a customer's amenability and profitability, learning how good stores capitalize on a shopper's unspoken inclinations and desires.

Underhill, whose clients include McDonald's, Starbucks, Estée Lauder, and Blockbuster, stocks Why We Buy with a wealth of retail insights, showing how men are beginning to shop like women, and how women have changed the way supermarkets are laid out. He also looks to the future, projecting massive retail opportunities with an aging baby-boom population and predicting how online retailing will affect shopping malls. This lighthearted look at shopping is highly recommended to anyone who buys or sells. --Rob McDonald

About the Author:

Paco Underhill is the founder of Envirosell, a research and consulting practice specialising in consumer shopping patterns and retail strategies. His clients include Calvin Klein, Hallmark Cards, Microsoft, Burger King, and Blockbuster Entertainment.

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Underhill, Paco
Published by Texere (2001)
ISBN 10: 158799044X ISBN 13: 9781587990441
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
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(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
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Book Description Texere, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 158799044X

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