Paco Underhill's Why We Buy is a primer to the anthropology of shoppers interacting with retail environments. The book deals with bricks-and-mortar shops, but has a short chapter about online shopping.
The most worthwhile aspect of the book is that it shows how detailed in-situ studies of shoppers shopping and subsequent refinements to the layout of a shop can raise sales significantly.
A pleasant surprise to me was that the art of making shoppers buy is not as much about seducing or bullying customers. It's more about usability: How to remove obstacles, how to help people find what they are looking for and how to make shopping more convenient and pleasant. This proves that usability isn't merely a nice-to-have – it's a business critical investment.
The book is written in a novel-like style and isn't very methodical or educational. Don't expect a how-to book. But it's fascinating reading.
- Read more reviews and buy the book at Amazon.com
- Read more reviews and buy the book at Amazon.co.uk
- April 09, 2002