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Why We Buy December 1, 2009

Posted by Ornwassa Siamseranee in [Books] Leadership & Change.
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I picked this book because I am interested in marketing and thought that the book would give some interesting insights into the buying decision of consumers.  I finished the book within a day because it was a very easy-to-read, with a lot of interesting examples and stories.  In the end, I think this book really delivers what I hoped for as it presents many interesting observations about consumer behaviors and retailers’ reactions to those behaviors.  The book is really useful not only because there are many tips that retailers can apply to their businesses, but also because the method that the author used to understand the consumers can be very useful for all of us, the leader-to-be, in managing our future businesses.

The key concept of this book is what the author called “retailer 101” – store design, merchandising, and operations.  These three components are what make a store successful, and they are interdependent.  Retailers should consider all these three elements whenever they make any decisions about their store.  For example, while zoning is mainly about store design (how to arrange the store), it also affects merchandising (which products to sell, and where to put what), as well as the operations (what will happen to the flow of store operations, e.g. product flow, people flow, queuing, etc.).

The book also gave a lot of good examples.  For example, why apparel stores like the GAP, Abercrombie, or Old Navy display their clothes on the table instead of on the rack, which should be less troublesome as they don’t have to hire people to refold the clothes every time customers mess them up?  This is because they know that consumers love to be able to visualize the products, which is the first step in their decision making hierarchy.  If they are not able to see it, they won’t buy it.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book.  I would recommend it to everyone, especially those who are looking for a career in marketing.

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