Underhill Explains Why We Buy

Jun 27, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Paco Underhill, best-selling author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, spoke to a group of business executives in Charlotte, NC recently to discuss how retailers can use store layout, merchandising and display to drive incremental sales.

Among the insights Mr. Underhill shared with the group were:

  • Position shopping carts and baskets in areas throughout the store to help shoppers add to their purchases.

  • The “butt-brush” factor. If women need to brush past others to get around displays and the store they are more likely to abandon their shopping cart.

  • Stores need to create traffic patterns that encourage shoppers to move counterclockwise. Because most people are right-handed a traffic pattern in this direction will be more successful than a clockwise pattern.

  • Design and layout displays to be senior citizen friendly.

Moderator’s Comment: How important has Paco Underhill’s
research been to the retail industry? Which of his insights do you think is
most significant?

Mr. Underhill told the group in Charlotte, “I don’t think
there’s been a new idea in brick-and-mortar retailing in a while. We’re looking
for new tools.”
Anderson – Moderator

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