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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Why We Buy
Format: Paperback|Change

on 27 February 2011
An excellent book, both for retail experts, who need to go back to the basics, and for complete newbies, who need to start there. I'm somewhere in between and, for me, there were three great themes running through this book...

Firstly, it explains, with many great examples, how tiny things can make a huge difference. Of course, this idea is well known, as the butterfly effect, tipping point etc, but it's so beautifully visible in retail. They don't say "retail is detail" for nothing!

Secondly, it shows that, while most of these details are common sense, they are still being missed all the time, because you simply can't see them in the Board Room. You have to go on to the Shop Floor and see what's happening on the ground. That goes for all industries, but again, it's so visible in retail, and Paco has all the examples to prove it.

Lastly, Paco's book, which includes a lot on his personal life, shows that true dedication leads to true expertise, and there's just no beating true expertise! Yes, as a previous reviewer points out, he does use the whole book to advertise his company, but, in my opinion, there's no harm in demonstrating that you're good at what you do. How else will people know about it?

Having said that, I agree with other reviewers, that the last 4 chapters, about the Internet and global retailing, are a bit disappointing, after you've read the first 16. In the Internet chapter, Paco expresses some interesting opinions, but it lacks the scientific basis that gives the book its subtitle, and doesn't really answer the big question: how bricks and clicks will co-exist in the future. Perhaps Paco should write a sequel with someone, who knows clicks as well as he (Paco) knows bricks.

In the global retailing chapters, Paco becomes a travel writer, with some interesting anecdotes and examples of innovative retailers, but again, no scientific basis, and not a lot of structure. There is room for a sequel here, too, and this time, Paco could easily write it himself, together with all the esteemed colleagues from Milan, Sao Paolo, Tokyo etc. he goes to great lengths to praise.

Still, on balance, this is an excellent book, and in my view, the last 4 chapters don't spoil it, they just don't do it any favours. I'm looking forward to those sequels!
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on 7 March 2017
Needs to be read and re-read by anyone involved in retail. 2nd edition worth the investment as contains new examples, and serves as an excuse to re-read. The core messages are unchanged as they should be and will stand the test of time. Section on eCommerce still stands out as odd but more of a polemic against the internet at large than a serious interrogation of selling online.

This is a book about the wonderful nuance of shopping in stores and how retailers and manufacturers can be more in tune with this behaviour to increase sales and loyalty.
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on 16 January 2018
The master of shoppers behaviour. Paco has overseen thousands of hours of footage of people shopping to learn why we behave the way we do. Brilliant and actionable insights. Also recommend the 'Call of the Mall'.
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on 16 October 2012
I purchased this book (Polish edition, but my husband has an English copy, as well) during my Fashion Management studies in order to learn more about buying habits of customers (not just in fashion). The author gives a lot of examples of how we act (mostly subconsciously) when it comes to shopping. His conclusions are backed up by various studies. If you want to know, what tricks companies use to persuade you to buy the next pair of jeans that you not necessarily need right now, read "Why we buy".

Easy and enjoyable read!
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on 23 September 2016
A good insight into the retail sector
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on 23 January 2012
I was recommended to read this for a module on retail marketing and I have not been disappointed. For a retail student or practitioner this book is full of practical examples and interesting, sometimes surprising, insights. However, it does not rely on business jargon so would be perfect simply for the interested reader. It uses examples from all over the world (helpful for non-US readers) and Underhill writes in an interesting and engaging way. I thoroughly recommend this book.
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on 19 March 2015
Some very useful insights into the psychology of shopping. Was probably a mistake to update the book for internet shopping as the author's understanding in this area seems very weak. Well worth getting if you're involved in bricks and mortar retailing.
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on 3 March 2013
does what it says on the cover, well researched and very well written, took it on hols and she who must be obeyed was cross initially but then she read it from cover to cover, enough said.
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on 14 April 2015
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on 22 January 2018
Good condition
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