Day 36: The Observer

Topic: Understand how we buy

I’m currently reading Why We Buy by Paco Underhill and its all about the science of shopping, consumer behaviour in other words. Underhill is an observer. He watches consumers behave while they shop to try understand how best to increase sales through minor adjustments. Some of his recommendations include adding mirrors into hallways because reflective surfaces make consumers stay longer and the longer a person stays in a store, the more likely they are to buy. What I think is most important to learn from this book however is “Understand Thy Customer”.

If we truly watched how a consumer interacted with a store and its products we might gain invaluable insights. For example, when I went to Shoppers to buy hair wax I opened every bottle (don’t judge, you do it too). The ones I didn’t buy were the ones that didn’t allow me to see the goop inside because they were sealed. Another example is that when I go grocery shopping I don’t enter from the main entrance. I enter from the side entrance but I have to walk all the way to the main entrance to get a shopping basket.

Implement an observer in your retail store. Someone who just watches to understand how people move in your retail store. They should read up a little about consumer behaviour first though, because its not as easy as we would think. Remember ethics as well, consumers don’t like the feeling of being watched and manipulated. Find genuine ways in which to improve the customer’s shopping experience.

Lots of Little Love



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