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Inside the Mind of the Shopper: The Science of Retailing Hardcover – May 16, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0137126859 ISBN-10: 0137126859 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (May 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137126859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137126859
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sorensen has made a career out of studying the way consumers behave in supermarkets. His research into their behavioral patterns includes inventing PathTracker, a system that tracks the motions of shopping carts and fitting test shoppers with specially designed glasses that record their field of vision every 3/25ths of a second, telling him exactly what they are looking at and for how long. It turns out there are three different groups of shopping excursions—quick trips, fill-ins and stockups—and Sorenson studies shoppers by behavior, rather than demographic. He exhorts retailers to forget the old system of making the shopper walk through a store, hoping theyÖll make impulse buys; instead, get them buying as quickly as possible and build momentum by putting products—particularly high frequency purchase items—directly in their paths. He cites such stores as Stew Leonard and Tesco as taking full advantage of new shopper research and provides interesting studies to back up his claims. While vastly informative—even from a sociological standpoint—the book comes across as too theoretical and academic for the general reader. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Herb Sorensen is a preeminent authority on observing and measuring shopping behavior and attitudes within the four walls of the store. He has worked with Fortune 100 retailers and consumer packaged-goods manufacturers for more than 35 years, studying shopper behavior, motivations, and perceptions at the point of purchase. Sorensen’s patented shopper-tracking technology PathTracker® is helping to revolutionize retail marketing strategies from a traditional “product-centric” perspective to a new “shopper-centric” focus. As Baseline magazine commented, “Herb Sorensen and Paco Underhill are the yin and yang of observational research.”

 

Herb has conducted studies in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. His research has been published in AMA’s Marketing Research, The Journal of Advertising Research, FMI Advantage Magazine, Progressive Grocer, and Chain Drug Review, and he has been utilized as an expert source for The Wall Street Journal, Supermarket News, and BusinessWeek. Additionally, he is currently a panelist of Retail Wire’s “Brain Trust.”

 

Herb was named one of the top 50 innovators of 2004 by Fast Company Magazine, and shared the American Marketing Association’s 2007 EXPLOR Award for technological applications that advance research, with Peter Fader and his group at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. Herb has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry.

 


More About the Author

Herb Sorensen, Ph.D. is a pre-eminent authority on observing and measuring shopping behavior and attitudes. He is a BrainTrust panelist at RetailWire.com, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science and Scientific Advisor to the TNS Global Retail & Shopper Practice, serving Fortune 100 retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers throughout the world for over 40 years. Fast Company Magazine named him one of its top 50 Innovators. He has been quoted in The Wall St. Journal, Forbes, Business Week, MSNBC, Supermarket News, and Progressive Grocer. Herb speaks internationally to companies and groups--visit www.herbsorensen.com. Herb also writes an occasional blog at www.ShopperScientist.com.

In 2013 Herb received the prestigious Parlin Award, from the American Marketing Association, adding to his earlier 2007 EXPLOR award, also from the AMA, and shared with colleagues at The Wharton School. Earlier recipients of the Parlin Award include such luminaries as Peter Drucker, Arthur Nielsen and George Gallup.

Speaking Engagements 2012-2013, in addition to the United States:
- Canada
- Norway
- Russia
- China
- Australia
- Turkey
- Spain
- Mexico

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This was a great book, even for someone who knows a bit about the subject.
AMS
Sorensen has decades of experience in understanding shopper and his work highly complements that of Underhill.
Jeff Doucette
The perspectives here are great, the book is well written, and you won't be bored reading this.
Brian Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Leo MacLeod on July 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What is interesting about this book is the focus on shopper behavior rather than shopper comments to draw the conclusions. People aren't reliable sources for predicting behavior. Behavior is the best predictor of behavior. By looking at where shoppers go, how long they take, and what they actually buy, Dr. Sorensen sheds new light on how retailers and brands can capitalize on the truth right under their noses!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kirk VINE VOICE on August 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I found this book both interesting as a business owner AND a consumer. I always enjoy looking "inside" of the tricks and optics that retailers are trying to sell to you. This author not only knows what he is talking about he also says it in ways that you can take back a lot of this information and use it to improve your own business. I really enjoyed the statistics that he showed about customers wanting to come in quickly and move on with their lives. The section on how the retailers really make their money (float, allowances, etc) was telling and again adds to value of this book. This author is a guru !! In summary, well worth your time is you are in retail sales.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Doucette on May 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In the world of shopper insights there are two preeminent figures namely, Paco Underhill the author of "Why We Buy" and Herb Sorensen, the author of "Inside The Mind of the Shopper".

I recently finished reading Mr. Sorensen's book and it took me on a fabulous journey through the retail environment and how shoppers made purchase (or not to purchase) decisions in the store.

When you think about it, this is critical information for both suppliers and retailers as without triggering the purchase decision in-store neither of our businesses would exist.

Sorensen has decades of experience in understanding shopper and his work highly complements that of Underhill. Indeed, the work done by Sorensen is much more advanced including the use of high tech shopper tracking solutions, many of which he invented to facilitate his research.

The book is written in such a way to give actionable insights to both retailers and suppliers on how they can increase the chance to put more products in the shopper's basket.

For retailers, he debunks the long standing notice that price is the king of promotion, offers unique ideas on how to manage SKU sprawl and highlights the importance of "short trip" shoppers.

For suppliers, he encourages a clear focus on the key top-selling items in our assortment (less really is more) and to focus on breaking through the retail clutter with product packaging and POP material that truly has stopping power.

With up to 80% of final purchasing decisions being made in-store this is an essential read for those in shopper facing roles such as category management and shopper insights. It is also a great investment for retail buyers, store operations, key account managers, marketers and senior management.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ryan R. Kelsey on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Great book because each chapter has a unique purpose in understanding Herb Sorensen's approach. Too many books have 100 pages or less of real content and double that of filler. Not this one. It carefully uses tables, graphs, maps, photos and a fast-moving pace. These work well to emphasize the importance of the quick trip, moments of truth, and types of currencies we all experience as shoppers, retailers, and manufacturers. Ultimately, I enjoyed the manifesto at the end with the top ten best practices retailers and manufacturers could execute tomorrow without a catch such as "buy our software" or "our consultants are standing by for an expensive engagement". I have already bought a second copy in two weeks since I loaned it out so quickly.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on January 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever wondered why the milk is in the back of the grocery store, far away from the entrance? Supermarket managers put it there in hopes of enticing shoppers to buy some of the thousands of items they pass on their way to the dairy case. However, shopping behavioralist Herb Sorensen disagrees with this strategy. He suggests that it causes shoppers emotional distress and they will simply buy their milk elsewhere. This type of product placement tactic is the kind of "misconception" that Sorensen identifies as retailers' and manufacturers' biggest problem. They spend billions learning about their customers and then fail to understand how consumers behave in their stores. Sorensen proselytizes heavily about the virtues of shopper research, which is not surprising since it is his field of expertise. Given his intricate factual material, backed with research, charts, statistics and case histories, getAbstract believes that he will persuade most readers to accept his methods by the time they finish his book. This is a crucial read for retailers who aspire to increase sales by understanding what shoppers want and providing it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spring on June 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A very well written and researched book. From his 40 years of observing shoppers, Dr. Herb Sorensen has given us the gift of understanding shoppers. This book is a great handbook for any marketer or retailer seeking to understand why people do what they do when they shop. Armed with the knowledge in this book, marketers and retailers can work together to predict how shoppers will respond (or not!) to package and label design, selling messages, shelf plans, and the entire retail space.

In this book you will learn how to drive more profit from the "quick trip"... the three "moments of truth" in every shopping event ... customer "migration patterns" within the store...and how to use "active retailing" to place products precisely where they'll do best.

Highly recommended!
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