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

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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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.

From the Back Cover

How Today's Shoppers Really Think, Behave, and Buy: Breakthrough Insights for Creating High-Profit Retail Experiences! ""Inside the Mind of the Shopper" is the preeminent 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."--Matt Ohligschlager, Senior Manager, Consumer and Market Knowledge, Procter & Gamble "From his 40 years of observing shoppers, Herb Sorensen has given us the gift of understanding shoppers. Now, we clearly see that the store layouts merchants want are not what shoppers want. On the ground, managers THINK they know their shoppers, but anyone who follows Herb's handbook on shopper insights will know them a lot better."--Joel Rubinson, Chief Research Officer, The Advertising Research Foundation Today, improving the effectiveness of the retail experience is no longer an option: It's a matter of survival--and nobody knows more about doing that than Herb Sorensen. That's because Sorensen understands your customer's in-store behavior better than anyone else on earth. Now, drawing on microscopic analysis of millions of shopping trips, Sorensen reveals exactly what your customers are thinking, why they behave as they do, and how to reshape stores to deliver truly remarkable results. You'll discover 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. Author's Notes and Acknowledgments xvAbout the Author xxiPreface: Rethinking Retail 1Introduction: Twenty Million Opportunities to Buy 5 Part I: Active Retailing 23Chapter 1: The Quick Trip: Eighty Percent of Shopper Time Is Wasted 25Chapter 2: Three Moments of Truth and Three Currencies 47Chapter 3: In-Store Migration Patterns: Where Shoppers Go and What They Do 69Chapter 4: Active Retailing: Putting Products into the Path of Shoppers 97Chapter 5: Brands, Retailers, and Shoppers: Why the Long Tail Is Wagging the Dog 113 Part II: Going Deeper into the Shopper's Mind 131Chapter 6: The Quick-Trip Paradox: "An Interview with Unilever's Mike Twitty" 133Chapter 7: Integrating Online and Offline Retailing: "An Interview with Professors Peter Fader (The Wharton School) and Wendy Moe (University of Maryland)" 147Chapter 8: Multicultural Retailing: "An Interview with Emil Morales, Executive Vice President of TNS Multicultural" 161Chapter 9: Insights into Action: A Retailer Responds: "An Interview with Mark Heckman of Marsh Supermarkets" 179 Part III: Conclusions 189Chapter 10: The Internet Goes Shopping 191Chapter 11: Game-Changing Retail: A Manifesto 199 Part IV: Appendix 205Appendix: Views on the World of Shoppers, Retailers, and Brands 207 Index 213
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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: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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