Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping

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Simon & Schuster, Jun 2, 2000 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
220 Reviews
Is there a method to our madness when it comes to shopping? Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a Sherlock Holmes for retailers," author and research company CEO Paco Underhill answers with a definitive "yes" in this witty, eye-opening report on our ever-evolving consumer culture. Why We Buy is based on hard data gleaned from thousands of hours of field research -- in shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets across America. With his team of sleuths tracking our every move, from sweater displays at the mall to the beverage cooler at the drugstore, Paco Underhill lays bare the struggle among merchants, marketers, and increasingly knowledgeable consumers for control.

In his quest to discover what makes the contemporary consumer tick, Underhill explains the shopping phenomena that often go unnoticed by retailers and shoppers alike, including:

  • How a well-placed shopping basket can turn a small purchase into a significant sale

  • What the "butt-brush factor" is and how it can make sales plummet

  • How working women have altered the way supermarkets are designed

  • How the "boomerang effect" makes product placement ever more challenging

  • What kinds of signage and packaging turn browsers into buyers

For those in retailing and marketing, Why We Buy is a remarkably fresh guide, offering creative and insightful tips on how to adapt to the changing customer. For the general public, Why We Buy is a funny and sometimes disconcerting look at our favorite pastime.

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Easy to read, great insights, and dead on. - Goodreads
Good ideas for library layout. - Goodreads
This is a very interesting book and very easy to read. - Goodreads
Great insight for larger shops. - Goodreads
It is a good introduction to business anthropology. - Goodreads
Interesting insight for the average shopper. - Goodreads

Review: Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping--Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond

User Review  - L - Goodreads

I first read this in 1999 while working on my I/O Psy degree. I recently attended a training session on doing Library Image Audits, and the instructor mentioned several passages from this book. This ... Read full review

Review: Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping

User Review  - Crystal - Goodreads

There are a few great points and ideas in this book, and if you are 100% new to merchandising it's eye opening. Though, as others have mentioned it does read a bit like a sales pitch. On the other ... Read full review


A Science Is Born
What Retailers Dont Know
The Twilight Zone

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About the author (2000)

With clients ranging from McDonald's to Starbucks, Estée Lauder to Blockbuster and Citibank to Wells Fargo, Paco Underhill has been profiled in The New Yorker and Smithsonian Magazine, has written for American Demographics and Adweek and lectures widely. He is based in New York City.

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