if you've got the moxie, you might have the moves

Here are my notes from book Why We Buy by Paco Underhill that I've read a long time ago, but never found time to write notes from it until now.

  • p6 Creative people, however - playwrights, artists, actors, novelists, a puppeteer - have proven to be perfect for this work. They have no theories to uphold or demolish, just open minds and boundless curiosity about what people do and how and why they do it. They are dispassionate yet avid observers with no agenda except for wanting to accurately document how human behavior plays out in the retail area. They manage to see the forest, the trees and everything in between.
  • p46 Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton's homespun advice to retailers was that if you hire a sweet old lady just to say hello to incoming customers, none of them will dare steal.
  • p47 That teaches us something about rules - you have to either follow them or break them with gusto. Just ignoring a rule, or bending it a little, is usually the worst thing you can do.
  • p53 In retrospect, one of the most important things to learn is this: How you present your idea and information is just as - or more - important as the ideas themselves.
  • p56 There are moments in this business when you see the light bulb flick on in people's minds.
  • p65 It's no surprise that the number-one thing people look at is other people. That's why some of the most effective signs in fast-food restaurants are the ones sitting atop the cash registers - more or less at the level of the cashiers' faces. Smart sign placement simply tries to interrupt the shopper's line of vision and intercept her gaze.
  • p91 Because the husbands and boyfriends were led to improvise, which human beings will always do when a need is going unmet. Whenever you encounter shopper improvisation in the retail environment, you have found poignant evidence of one person's failure to understand what another person requires.
  • p99 We use shopping as therapy, reward, bribery, pastime, and excuse to get out of the house, a way to troll for potential loved ones, entrainment, a form of education or even worship, a way to kill time.
  • p102 Men and women differ in just about every other way, so why shouldn't they shop differently, too? The conventional wisdom on male shoppers is that hey don't especially like to do it, which is why they don't do much of it. It's a struggle just to get them to be patient company for a woman while she shops. As a result, the entire shopping experience - from packaging design to advertising to merchandising to store design and fixturing - is geared toward the female shopper.
  • p102 Although women are increasingly reaching high-level business positions, we live in a world that is owned by men, designed by men and managed by men, yet somehow expect women to participate. That they don't get women is a given; that they don't do so well with the guys either is pathetic.
  • p104 ... men seem so anxious to get out of the store that hey'll say yes to almost anything.
  • p114 I met a jeweler who told me, "A lot of my business is with men trying to buy their way back inside the house."
  • 126 At that exalted level, shopping is a transforming experience, a method of becoming a newer, perhaps even slightly improved person. The products you buy turn you into that other, idealized version of yourself: That dress makes you beautiful, this lipstick makes you kissable, that lamp turns your house into an elegant showplace.
  • p137 And old people of the twenty-first century won't be like the current sober crop of senior citizens.
  • p140 By 2025, anything smaller than thirteen-point type will be a form of commercial suicide. Even today, as out vision begins to blur, using nine-point type qualifies as a self-destructive tendency.
  • p160 "My God," the designer gasped, "look what he's doing!" "He's interacting," I reminded him. Wasn't that the point here? The fundamental lesson? Any technology that's located on the floor of a store, and that's accessible to kids, has to be built to combat standards - as if it were headed to Kabul or Baghdad.
  • p170 Regardless of how practical an activity shopping seems to be, feelings always come first, and good is always better than bad.
  • p214 Retailers must accept the fact that there are no new customers - the population isn't booming, and we already have more stores than we need. The usual figure is that 80 percent of a store's sales will come from 20 percent of its clientele. So if stores are to grow, it will be by figuring out how to get more out of existing customers - more visits, more time in the sore, more and bigger purchases.
  • p240 The way I see it, Facebook is a direct extension of the popularization of the suburb and of the automobile. Both have created enormous physical distances among people.
  • p244 Come to think of it, some of the strongest unions I know are between two people who are completely unalike.
  • p244 The triumph of hope over experience - it's just a couple of clicks away.
  • p271 Brazil, where a wealthy population roughly the size of Belgium's is surrounded by poverty on the scale of India's.
  • p284 … men are on their way to becoming exotic household pets.
  • p285 For all the science we preach, we realize that if you've got the moxie, you might have the moves.