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Inside the Mind of the Shopper: The Science of Retailing, 2nd Edition

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Inside the Mind of the Shopper: The Science of Retailing, 2nd Edition


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How shoppers really think, behave, and buy: powerful new insights for creating more profitable retail experiences!

  • How to get the right items to the right customers when they want them and why too much choice is costing you sales.
  • Preparing for all three "moments of truth" in the buying process: reaching, stopping and closing.
  • By Herb Sorensen, the world's #1 expert on in-store consumer behavior.


  • Copyright 2017
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Pages: 320
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-430892-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-430892-0

World-Renowned Shopper Scientist Dr. Herb Sorensen Reveals: How Today’s Shoppers Think, Behave, and Buy
New Insights for Creating High-Profit Retail Experiences!

In retail, there’s only one number one. It’s not Wal-Mart or Costco, or even Amazon: It’s the shopper. To create high-profit retail experiences, you need to know exactly how your shopper thinks, feels, and acts at the point of purchase. Dr. Herb Sorensen illuminates today’s consumer behavior in the context of radical technological and societal changes that are transforming retail.

Building on these deep consumer insights, Sorensen introduces revolutionary new approaches to improving performance in self-service retail—whatever you sell, via bricks or clicks. You’ll discover today’s best ways to get the right items to the right customers when they want them… surpass the expectations of customers trained by online retail… own every consumer “moment of truth”!

New coverage includes:

  • Converging clicks and bricks into a super-high-efficiency retail engine
  • Building the “webby store”: visually managing every display like a web page
  • Bringing product and shopper together via optimized navigation and search
  • Measuring and promoting shopper efficiency
  • Motivating long-cycle purchases: cars, tech, appliances, apparel, and more
  • Speeding today’s shoppers from “want” to “need”


Author's Site

Visit the author's site at shopperscientist.com.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter


Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Intro and the Index.)

Table of Contents

Preface: Who Is #1?     xxix
Introduction     1
Bidirectional Search     2
Products/Shoppers Competition     3
Open Space Actually Attracts Shoppers—Think Navigation!     5
Review Questions     10
Endnotes     10

Chapter 1  How We Got Here and Where We Are Going     15

What Is Selling?     16
Selling Requires a Salesperson, Not a Retailer     17
SELLING: Focus on the Big Head of What the Shopper Wants to Buy     18
Stop Shouting at Your Shoppers     21
How We Got This Way     25
    Early Shopping in America     26
    The Birth of Self-Service Retail     26
Can Selling Make a Comeback in the Twenty-first Century?     32
The Four Dimensions of Purchasing     33
    Now! Purchases (Advantage—Bricks Retail)     35
    Surprise/Delight Purchases (Advantage—Bricks Retail)      36
    Routine/Autopilot Purchases (Advantage—Online Retail)      37
    Frustration/Angst Purchases (Advantage—Online Retail)          37
Where Is Selling Going?     37
The Selling Prescription     40
The Shopper’s Ideal Self-Service Retail Experience     41
What Does the Ideal Self-Service Retail Store of the Future Look Like?     42
    The Dark Store     43
    Step-by-Step     44
The Ever-Changing Retail Landscape Favors an Evolving Retailer Species     46
Review Questions     47
Endnotes     48
Chapter 2  Transitioning Retailers from Passive to Active Mode (by Mark Heckman)     49
Passive Merchandising No Longer Suffices in a Shopper-Driven World     50
The Journey to Active Retailing and the Five Vital Tenets of Active Retailing     51
The Five Vital Tenets of Active Retailing     52
Tenet 1: Measure and Manage the Shopper’s Time in the Store     53
A Shopper’s Time Should Be as Important to the Retailer as It Is to the Shopper!     55
Wasted Days and Wasted Nights     57
Implications for Active Retailing     58
Steps for Managing Shoppers’ Time in Store     58
Tenet 2: Focus on the Big Head     59
Implications for Active Retailing     61
Retailers Attempting to Manipulate or Extend a Shopper’s Trip Are on a Fool’s Errand     62
Steps in Managing the Big Head     63
Tenet 3: Assist Shoppers as They Navigate the Store     63
Mr. Retailer, Tear Down This Wall!     66
Implications for Active Retailing     67
Activating the Dominant Path     68
Steps in Assisting Shoppers as They Navigate the Store     71
Tenet 4: Sell Sequentially     71
What Comes First, The Chicken or the Egg?     72
Does the Order of Things Matter?     72
Implications for Active Retailing     73
Steps for Sequential Selling     76
Tenet 5: Managing the Long Tail     76
So Where Does This Leave the Tens of Thousands of Other Items That Populate the Shelves of the Store?     77
“Nobody Goes There Anymore. It’s Too Crowded”—Yogi Berra     77
Implications for Active Retailing     79
Steps in Managing the Long Tail     81
A Passing Thought about the Role of Displays in Active Retailing     82
Closing Thoughts     82
Review Questions     83
Endnotes     83
Chapter 3  Selling Like Amazon Online and in Bricks Stores     85
Amazon Selling Online     87
    Amazon Point of Focus #1: Navigation—Simple and Fast     88
    Amazon Focus: Selection     89
    Amazon Focus #2: Immediate Close     90
    Amazon Focus #3: Affinity Sales and Crowd-Social Marketing     91
    Amazon Focus #4: Reaching into the Long Tail     93
    Amazon Focus #5: Info, Info, Info     94
Amazonian Selling in Bricks Stores     95
    Amazonian Bricks Focus #1: Navigation—Simple and Fast     96
    Amazonian Bricks Focus: Selection     101
    Amazonian Bricks Focus #2: Immediate Close101
    Amazonian Bricks Focus #3: Affinity Sales/Crowd-Social Marketing     104
    Amazonian Bricks Focus #4: Reaching into the Long Tail106
    Amazonian Bricks Focus #5: Info, Info, Info    107
Review Questions     112
Endnotes    113
Chapter 4  Integrating Online and Offline Retailing: An Interview with Peter Fader and Wendy Moe     115
How Did the Internet Change the Study of Shopping Behavior?     116
In What Way Are the Online and Offline Patterns Similar?     117
How Are Paths in the Supermarket Similar to Paths Online?     119
Can Online Retailers Learn from Offline Shopper Behavior?     119
Tell Me about What You’ve Found Out about Crowd Behavior?     120
What Have You Learned about Licensing and Sequencing—Such as the Purchase of Vice Items After Virtue Items?     120
What Have You Found Out about the Pace of the Shopping Trip?     121
What Have You Learned about Shopping Momentum?     122
What Have You Learned about the Role of Variety in Shopping?      122
What Have You Learned about Efficiency? Is It Better to Allow Shoppers to Get Quickly In and Out of the Store, or Should Retailers Try to Prolong the Trip?     123
This Raises the Question of Whether Shoppers Are in the Store for Utilitarian Reasons Alone or If They Are Interested in an Experience. What Is the Difference?     124
What Have You Learned so far about What Shoppers Are Looking for When They Go Online?     124
How Do Online Retailers Use These Insights about Shopper Visits?     125
This Captures the Whole Point of What We’ve Called “Active Retailing ” Online Is Leading Offline in This Area  How Does This Come into the Physical Store?     126
How Do Some of the Complex Forces of Shopping Behavior Play Out? Why Is There a Need for Better Modeling?     126
What Topics Are You Studying Now?     127
Review Questions     127
Endnotes     128
Chapter 5  The Coming Webby Store     129
The “Ideal” Sized Store     135
Review Questions     137
Endnotes     137

Chapter 6  Long-Cycle Purchasing (by James Sorensen)     141

Higher Cost Leads to Anxiety and Indecision     142
Longer Shopping Process     143
Long-Cycle Purchasing     143
    A Word about Building Desire     144
    Wish     145
    Want     145
    Need     145
    Got     146
The Shopper Engagement Spectrum     147
Speeding the Shopper along the Path-to-Purchase: First Build Desire and Facilitate the Tipping Point     149
    Life Changes     150
    Product Benefits     150
    Ability to Pay     150
The Shopper’s Journey     151
    Early in the Shopping Journey     151
    Educate     151
    Late in the Shopping Journey     152
    Validating Choice     152
    Complete the Transaction     153
    Mobile     153
    Again, the Sales Associate Is Key to Closing the Sale and Completing the Transaction     153
    Conclusion     153
Review Questions     154
Endnotes     154
Chapter 7  The Quick-Trip Paradox: An Interview with Mike Twitty     155
How Do You Define a Quick Trip?     155
Why Do Shoppers Make So Many Quick Trips?     158
How Do Pre-store Decisions Affect the Quick Trip?      160
What Factors Do Consumers Consider in Deciding Where and How to Shop?     160
How Do Consumers Think about Shopping Trips?      161
What Did You Learn from This Research?      162
How Could It Be that Even Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters—Whose Design so Strongly Encourages Stock-up Shopping—Receive More Quick Trips than Stock-up or Fill-in Trips?     164
Given that Quick Trips Account for Two-thirds of Shopping Trips, How Can Retailers and Manufacturers Cater to these Shoppers?     165
What Is the Quick-trip Paradox?      165
Given this Paradox, How Can Retailers and Manufacturers Capitalize on the Quick Trip?      166
Could the Shoppers’ Motives for Making the Trip Offer Insights into the Best Assortment to Offer?      168
How Can Retailers Best Meet the Needs of Quick-Trip Shoppers?     168
What Are the Implications for Retailers and Manufacturers?     170
Review Questions     171
Endnotes     172
Chapter 8  Three Moments of Truth and Three Currencies     173
Moments of Truth     177
Seeing the Truth: Eyes Are Windows to the Shopper     178
Reach: Impressions and Exposures     182
Stopping Power (and Holding Power)     188
Closing Power     189
Three Currencies of Shopping: Money, Time, and Angst     190
    Time     191
    Angst: A Vague and Unpleasant Emotion     194
A Complex Optimization     195
Review Questions     196
Endnotes     197
Chapter 9  In-Store Migration Patterns: Where Shoppers Go and What They Do     199
If You Stock It, They Will Come     201
Understanding Shopper Behavior     204
First Impressions: The Entrance     206
Shopper Direction: Establishing a Dominant Path for the Elephant Herds     207
The Checkout Magnet     210
Products Hardly Ever Dictate Shopper Traffic—Open Space Does     211
    Open Space Attracts: The Call of the Open Aisle     212
    The Great Pyramids     215
    New Angles     216
Managing the Two Stores     219
Five Store Designs     221
    The Enhanced Perimeter     222
    The Inverted Perimeter     223
    The Serpentine Design     225
    The Compound Store     225
    The Big Head Store     226
Where the Rubber Meets the Linoleum     227
Review Questions     227
Endnotes     228

Chapter 10  Brands, Retailers, and Shoppers: Why the Long Tail Is Wagging the Dog     231

Where the Money Is in Retail     232
Massive Amounts of Data     234
Shifting Relationships     235
A Refreshing Change: Working Together to Sweeten Sales     237
Beyond Category Management     238
A New Era of Active Retailing: Total Store Management     239
Pitching a Category’s Emotional Tone More Precisely     245
Retailers Control Reach     246
The Urgent Need for Retailing Evolution     248
Review Questions     251
Endnotes     252
Chapter 11  Conclusion Game-Changing Retail: A Manifesto     253
The Package Is the Brand’s Ambassador     258
Review Questions     260
Afterword     261
Index     267


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