Book Reviews of Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping

Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping
Why We Buy The Science Of Shopping
Author: Paco Underhill
ISBN-13: 9780684849140
ISBN-10: 0684849143
Publication Date: 6/2/2000
Pages: 256
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 39

3.8 stars, based on 39 ratings
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

7 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Thought-provoking, funny, occasionally disconcerting. Invaluable for storekeepers and salespeople, but interesting also for people whose only experience with retail and marketing is through shopping.
reviewed Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping on + 297 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Although much more "how" than "why", this book is a fascinating tale by the head of a company who seems to be the Margaret Mead of the shopping experience.
reviewed Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping on
Anyone who owns or manages a retail store should read this book...twice.
reviewed Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping on + 213 more book reviews
Great book with lots of interesting research!
reviewed Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping on + 38 more book reviews
Awesome book about how to configure retail environments to make them most accomodating for shoppers to make purchases. Interesting and very profitable advice.
reviewed Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping on + 5 more book reviews
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reviewed Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping on + 48 more book reviews
This was an interesting book for the first couple chapters. I was fascinated by the premise: stores nowadays function as their own advertisement and can affect whether and how much shoppers buy through the judicious placement of signage, merchandise, and staff; however, it's hard to determine what ought to be moved without thorough study of current "traffic patterns" and even then adjustments don't always have their intended effect because "the obvious is not always apparent." Take the "butt-brush effect," for example -- people don't like to hang round a display, no matter how tempting the contents, if they are bumped from behind by through traffic. Therefore, placing a big table of discounts right by the door is not necessarily a good idea; people get jostled out of interest before they can decide what to buy.

After that the book started bogging down in minutiae, and sometimes took on the feel of a bad YA novel, including present tense storytelling. I couldn't see the point being driven at and skimmed the rest of the book, stopping now and then on interesting tidbits like stroller-pushers being effectively barred from many store shelves by the prohibitive narrowness of the aisles. The only other chapter I cared enough about to read mostly through was 18, "The Self-Exam."

In short, I thought the basic point was pretty well summarized up front and the rest was rabbit chasing; I couldn't see the forest (if there was one) for the trees. I recommend reading the first few chapters and then (if your attention drifts) skip over to 18 and close the book. The in-between information doesn't readily distill itself into any basic principles, something you could take away from the book, so I don't think you'd be missing much.