Monday, August 17, 2009

Why We Buy

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping
By Paco Underhill
Simon & Schuster, 2000. 255 pgs. Nonfiction

Why do people pick up this shampoo and not that one? How does the layout of a store affect the purchase patterns of its customers? How do men’s shopping habits differ from women’s? Underhill approaches topics such as these, trying to explain the consumer mind and how corporations can use that information to improve their effectiveness and increase their profits.

I listened to the audio production of this work which was produced in 2008. I really enjoyed the first few disks but was confused several times when technology was discussed in a way that seemed a little dated. For example, the author predicted that sometime in the future, everyone would have a cell phone and it would no longer be considered a yuppie gadget. After a while, I looked at the packaging a little closer and found the actual copyright date of 2000, which all of the sudden made a lot of things make a lot more sense. Though some of the later predictions and recommendations are dated, Underhill still has some excellent points that many businesses would do well to incorporate into their retail practices.


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