Why We Buy; The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill

why we buy, the science of shopping by paco underhillJust finished reading “Why We Buy; The Science of Shopping” by Paco Underhill.

Now you might think that this is a strange book for a ‘bloke’ to read but hey, its a small library! and anyway I scanned the back and was drawn into a world of subterfuge and manipulation! How could I resist?

Anyhoo, it was quite an eye opener. I had an inkling that this sort of data was available from a friend in the business, but the extent that people can be steered into impulse purchases is mind boggling. Thousands of hours of video and observing shoppers in the field,  picks up subtle facets of human behavior. The resulting small changes to the stores layout, signage, product placement or approach, instantly increases sales.

We are complex creatures according to Paco who explains a good deal about our instinctive reactions at an almost sublimminal level in this book. Paco writes in an informative and entertaining manner, making it easy to spot your own behaviors. He might even save you some money as you learn to recognize some of the methods used to distract/lure you into buying something that you were not looking for in your local shop!

I wonder if anyone is studying other aspects of our lives and can make corresponding improvements? Maybe someone could shoot thousands of hours of my kids getting ready for school with the goal of ‘optimizing’  them, thus shaving hours of the process…….. Volunteers can contact me via the usual address.

So, now I am convinced that there is something to be learned about almost anything, even if it is way out of your ‘normal’ radar or a topic that you consider ‘boring’. In truth, nothing is boring if you give yourself up to it and take a proper look. It’s just different and quite possibly not quite what you were expecting.

Stay well

About Ian

Handyman, humanitarian, inventor, blogger and finally a house husband looking after Cecilia, Julia, William near Hvalstrand in Asker, Norway.
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2 Responses to Why We Buy; The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill

  1. Ian Anderson says:

    No worries David,
    I like the fact that you are on the right path and under 30! That makes you a lucky guy in my book. Some people never work it out.

    Re: the book; Paco has certainly done the work; he describes himself as a ‘retail anthropologist’ and his company was the biggest buyer of ‘super 8 video film’ film in the world.

    Man, that guy must have some kind of work ethic to watch thousands of hours of people shopping! His research is all offline based, but still, it shows what creatures of habit we mostly are. Thanks for stopping by….
    Stay well David,

  2. Guess this is another book I have to add to my shopping list. A few others that relate to how we buy that I’m yet to read too are:
    – Buyology
    – Blink
    – Predictably Irrational
    They’re all meant to be pretty good.

    And thanks for putting my blog in your “favorite stuff” widget. It’s a honor. 😉

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