Why We Buy

Why We Buy

The Science of Shopping

Book - 2000
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Baker & Taylor
An expert on shopping behavior and motivation offers an analysis of consumers' tastes and habits, discussing why point-of-sale purchases are still the most significant, and why Internet shopping will not replace the mall.

Simon and Schuster
Is there a method to our madness when it comes to shopping? Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a Sherlock Holmes for retailers," author and research company CEO Paco Underhill answers with a definitive "yes" in this witty, eye-opening report on our ever-evolving consumer culture. Why We Buy is based on hard data gleaned from thousands of hours of field research -- in shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets across America. With his team of sleuths tracking our every move, from sweater displays at the mall to the beverage cooler at the drugstore, Paco Underhill lays bare the struggle among merchants, marketers, and increasingly knowledgeable consumers for control.

In his quest to discover what makes the contemporary consumer tick, Underhill explains the shopping phenomena that often go unnoticed by retailers and shoppers alike, including:

  • How a well-placed shopping basket can turn a small purchase into a significant sale

  • What the "butt-brush factor" is and how it can make sales plummet

  • How working women have altered the way supermarkets are designed

  • How the "boomerang effect" makes product placement ever more challenging

  • What kinds of signage and packaging turn browsers into buyers

For those in retailing and marketing, Why We Buy is a remarkably fresh guide, offering creative and insightful tips on how to adapt to the changing customer. For the general public, Why We Buy is a funny and sometimes disconcerting look at our favorite pastime.

Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster, 2000, c1999
ISBN: 9780684849140
Branch Call Number: 658.834 Und
Characteristics: 255 p


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Sep 30, 2014

Fascinating and a quick read on the failures and successes of retail shops and strategies. This is a cool behind the scenes of marketing and shopping. Now that I know the secrets, I'll be able to point out strengths and weaknesses at stores I go to.

Jul 17, 2005

Paco Underhill is watching us as we worship at the retail altar. WHY WE BUY is a fascinating and very entertaining look at the retail industry, from a pioneer in -- as the subtitle puts it -- the science of shopping. Underhill is the founder and managing director of Envirosell, an international retail consulting firm. Through years of covert and overt research on shopping behaviour he assists companies in determining consumers'' motivations to buy, and helps retailers to improve their consumers'' in-store experiences and as a result retail bottom lines. For example, the anatomical fact that humans have only two hands determines how much any one consumer can carry at a given moment. Anyone who does not pick up a shopping basket at the front of, say, the drugstore, can only comfortably carry three or so small items without one, but to traipse back to the store entrance to get a basket interrupts and can limit the shopping activity. Retailers need, according to Underhill, to place shopping baskets in multiple locations, deeper into their stores, so that they are convenient to shoppers when they need them. Who would think that a book on retailing and consumer behaviour could be so entertaining?

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