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Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 2. Juni 2000

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In an effort to determine why people buy, Paco Underhill and his detailed- orientated band of retail researchers have camped out in stores for over 20 years, dedicating their efforts 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 shopper/store interaction. They've discovered that men who take jeans into the fitting room are more likely to buy then females (65 percent to 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, employees/shopper contact, 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 capitalise on a shopper's unspoken inclinations and desires.

Underhill--whose clients include McDonald's, Starbuck's, Estee Lauder, and Blockbuster-- stocks Why We Buy with a bevy of retail epiphanies, 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 ageing baby-boom population and predicting how online retailing will affect shopping malls. This lighthearted look at the shopping is highly recommended for anyone who buys or sells. -- Rob McDonald, Amazon.com -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


Erica Marcus"Newsday"What Underhill offers in this delightful and engrossing book is a primer in the science of shopping....The effect of reading this book is that of being alternately entertained by hilarious stories and enlightened by trenchant observations.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The thesis behind this book is that by making the process of shopping easier and more desirable, and the choices clearer, the consumer will buy more. That's very similar to the observation that Taylor made about manual labor. Make it simpler and easier, and more work will get done. The methods are remarkably similar. Measuring the actions that the person under study makes, and changing the environment and process to see how the productivity is affected. I think this work is an important extension of behavioral economics, and hope it will be applied to more areas of business.
Although a book like this could be written in a very technical way, the voice and perspective are quite approachable. Also, the book is written to be equally interesting to shoppers and retailers. I'm sure you notice a lot of new things about your own behavior and that of others the next time you go shopping.
I also thought that the book was a good example of the way that stalled thinking holds back progress. For example, without this kind of observational measurement of shoppers, most retailers would never know which shoppers leave without buying and why. Or, why some merchandising experiments succeed or fail. In both cases, there are opportunities to accomplish more, if you can only grasp how your own decisions and behavior are helping and hurting your sales.
One of the sections I enjoyed was an evaluation of why many book stores miss sales. I often notice the inconveniences mentioned when I am in a book store, and wondered why the stores persist in doing things that make the store hard to shop in. There's a lot of stalled thinking in the industry, which is why we are fortunate to have Amazon.com to help us.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This had been a great book. I have worked in the book retail business for more than 3 years and I found the book to be full of practical advice. It has made me look again at the business and see how it can be improved further.
The author has mentioned about some changes he would like to see in bookstores in Chapter 18. While there are some interesting comments there like blow-up displays of book jackets and availabilty of bestseller lists, there are 2 things which I believe are not feasible.
Firstly, book stores need to have shelves that are arranged in rows. While I agree that wide aisles and creative arranging of the shelves can make a better shopping experience, the standard arrangement of rows must remain.
I have seen a public library where the shelves where arranged in a circular fashion. Besides experiencing it myself, I have seen irritated readers walking in circles to find the book they want. It created a very dizzying experience.
The second thing is that books must be arranged alphabetically despite what the author said about lower shelves being Siberias of retailing. This is because book buyers are already accustomed to searching for books alphabetically. They were trained by bookstores and libraries all over the world practising this same standard. As the author said in the last chapter, the environment must adapt to the customer.
When Tower Records first started operating a book store in Singapore, they arranged books according to the first names, like the CDs that they sell. Stephen King books were placed in "S" and not "K" like in other book stores. This created confusion for many book buyers and eventually, they realised that the convention for books is to place it alphabetically by the last name.
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Mr. Underhill and his company are pioneers in studying the retail environment in a methodical and 'scientific' way. The whole methodology depends on observation, thorough observation; which is later subjected to analysis and from that analysis they come up with valuable conclusions and suggestions for their clients.
The book does, however, contain parts in which Mr. Underhill wanders off his area of expertise and starts projecting into the future without solid basis; therby losing some credibilty.
It also seems that Mr. Underhill is not well versed on Marketing and I quote from Page 206, "But since the early '80s, PoP has really become a player, & now commands a seat at the selling table right next to marketing's", Any apprentice of marketing knows that PoP (point of purchase) is one of the many sales promotional tools that are only one part of Marketing Communications which is but one of 6 main categories of tools at the marketer's disposal. In actuality, PoP does in fact have a chair on the Marketing Table along with many other tools, such as the internet. I think Mr. Underhill shares a common misconception held by many non-marketers that marketing = advertising; while in fact advertising is still only a tool and only part of Marketing communications just like Sales Promotion is.
The book is full of useful and insightful retail information. The essence of the book is how to keep the customer in the store longer, at a greater level of comfort and easy navigation.
Mr. Underhill is backed with years of observation and study of how a shopper interacts with the retail environment; an essential read for anyone in retailing and FMCG brand management.
A great reference book.
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