Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book of ideas on shopping, 16 May 2012
This review is from: The Art of Shopping: How We Shop and Why We Buy (Hardcover)
The Art of Shopping by Siemon Scamell-Katz is the second book this year to challenge the way that most retailers set up their shops. Like Phillip Adcock, whose book Supermarket Shoppology I recommended last time out, Scamell-Katz has built a career out of studying what shoppers actually do in store.

Independent retailers should read this book to help them do two things. Firstly, it will help them to understand how big manufacturers operate and to make informed opinions about which promotions to support and how to build their categories.

Remember, there are about 250,000 products that you can stock but most shoppers will only use 300 in a year and only 150 regularly.

Where Scamell-Katz is very strong compared to similar authors is he names names and tells you who he has worked for. When he says that the typical brand manager will be in post for two or three years and the best way to make an impact is to redesign the brand, the independent operator may feel that some of their cynicism about marketing is justified. An industry exists to exploit this brand manager's career aspirations!

However, the Art of Shopping is not a book to fuel your cynicism. Scamell-Katz loves retailing and he gives examples of where manufacturers like Procter & Gamble get innovation absolutely right.

The second thing it will help you to understand is what to look for when you visit a major supermarket and how to interpret what they are doing to the advantage of your shop. Scamell-Katz appears to have worked for most of the big boys and he provides great insight into how they operate.

He tells how he worked with Diana Hunter at Waitrose to change how they organised their stores. The existing layout was restricting sales because it treated all shoppers as the same. Presenting new ideas to the board, their response was shock. The managing director remained sceptical but agreed to go ahead. The outcome: a boom in sales and the creation of stores that accommodated multiple shopper missions.

One of Scamell-Katz's key points is that stores are not somewhere where selling happens but places where shoppers go to "collect the items we want". Most point-of-sale does not work. Most shoppers don't see what is in the window of your shop. Most importantly, most shoppers don't think at all about what they buy.

In one example, four out of five shoppers taking product from a two for one promotional display took only one product.

The science shows that shoppers make up reasons to explain how they shop. Don't believe them, he says. This book is a must read for trade marketers. Marketing is like a lottery - lots of losses and a few big winners.

There is much much more inside. The Art of Shopping is a great read that will inspire you to ask better questions and to sell more.
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