Buy Used
£0.01
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping Hardcover – 10 Jun 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£56.97 £0.01
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Business (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ); First edition, First Printing edition (10 Jun. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752813307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752813301
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 786,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

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

Review

.."Underhill..... has made a lot of money, for one simple reason: Many retail environments were broken, and his research helped fix them." -- Business 2.0 (Web), May 30th, 2002

...a fascinating analysis of the factors that both prompt and deter purchase. -- The Bookseller, 25 October 2002

A must read book for anyone doing business in today's complex shopping environment. Paco has the ability to explain the dynamics of today's retail environment. -- Daniel J. Brestle, President, Estie Lauder Inc.

A surprisingly entertaining book which has already become an international bestseller. -- femail.co.uk, November 29, 2001

Paco Underhill ... discusses in depth how retailers can lay out their stores to maximise their sales to each sex. -- Garden Centre Monthly, 1 July 2002 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
The book does a nice job of discussing how people with different perspectives shop differently.
Read more ›
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that anybody can read, keep reading until the end and learn from. The author, the first to turn people watching into a quantifiable science offers his years of experience to explain anything from the logics of where city planners should place park benches to the best angle for shelf displays. His observations, a mix of anthropology and quasi-stalker behaviour will leave you nodding your head and seeing any kind of retail experience in a different light. For those with a casual interest in why things are and the way people behave, the book is a stimulating read, even if you have no particular interest in business books (my father took the book off me and couldn't put it down)! For anybody who's business involves customers walking into their premises, this book is a must. It will force you to start thinking not from a perspective of "how can we stack the most jumpers on this display" but rather "how can we make sure customers are comfortable with their experience" (which invariably will lead to higher sales and satisfaction). An easy to read, highly original (i.e not one of those "me too" books out for a quick sale) and non-technical book from a true authority and pioneer in his field.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
It is true..... you can't put a price on knowledge! This book is filled with thorough observations of shoppers and their habits within a retail environment; Paco and his team will amaze you with the depth of their research and even make you see retailing in a whole new light - their observations of human behaviour will make you smile; this is nothing like you'll ever read in retailing - it's fun, informative and absolutely 'enlightening'! Buy it.... I assure you, you'll not regret it!!
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I found this an interesting read; it shows you how much thought goes into making you buy something and how obvious things can be easily missed.
My big problem with this book, though, was the complete moral and ethical vacuum in which it is written. By this I don't mean the tricks retailers can use to get you to buy more than you mean to; if you're stupid enough to be sucked into impulse shopping, that's your own lookout. What I do mean is the way in which there is no examination of the idea that conspicuous, continuous consumption is a Good Thing. The part where he demonstrates how a shirt that is produced for $3 in Sri Lanka sells in the USA for $37 is held up as merely "good marketing"; there is no discussion of how this practice is actually exploitative. Ditto his unceasing praise of the predatory Wal-Mart. The most ridiculous claim must be that shopping was the first feminist statement - incredible.
On the whole, it's an interesting, worthwhile read, if only to know one's enemy!
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
paco underhill surely knows his stuff, but the title is misleading. it should read: "how we sell" and not "why we buy". it's written from the perspective of a retailer (mostly a supermarket or department store). but interesting nevertheless.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author stumbled upon this a few decades ago and with this experience of watching people shop has helped companies and retailers improve their layouts to increase the likelihood of someone buying products. Fascinating for those of us that work in ultimately selling goods to households (not companies) and trying to optimise those sales
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are involved or interested in retailing, in understanding just what it is that makes the difference at that critical "shall I.....shalln't I....." moment, you must read this book.
It's a light read - insight into human behaviour is always amusing - but its message really strikes home. If you're in retailing, you'll look at your operation through new eyes. If you're a consumer or simply a people watcher, no shopping trip will ever be the same !
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback