1 Sixty-five percent of men who take jeans into a fitting room of a store will buy them, but only 25% of women will do that.
2 Four percent of people shopping for computers on a Saturday morning will buy one, compared to 21% who will buy one after 5 p.m.
3 Eight percent of shoppers in a store that sells houseware use shopping baskets. Also, 75% of the people who use a basket will, in fact, buy something, as opposed to 34% of the shoppers who don’t use a basket.
4 Information about customers’ shopping patterns like those that are described above can help store owners make decisions that improve the sales in their stores.
(This posting includes handouts which you are welcome to use with your students.)
See Reading Units: Reading for Insights (Introduction)for an introduction to these reading units.
Article & Study Guide for Science of Shopping (and excerpts)
Article: Science of Shopping article
Study Guide: Science of Shopping Study Guide
Answer Key: Science of Shopping answer key
9 Before using trackers to analyze what shoppers do in a store, most store owners merely looked at the information from their cash registers, which tells what products were bought and the time that they were purchased. According to Underhill, the cash register information only presents a partial picture of what is happening in a store. For example, he researched a large bookstore which had recently put a large table with discounted books at the front of the store. As customers entered the store, these discounted books were the first thing that they saw, and almost all of them stopped to browse the books, and many of them bought at least one book. At the end of the day, the store owner saw the large sale of these books (from the cash register information) and was happy with the results. However, when trackers observed the customers, they found that this discount-priced table was not necessarily a good idea. They found that many of the customers who entered the store, went to the discount table but then didn’t continue to walk through the rest of the store. When there was no discount-priced table, customers spent more time walking through the aisles in the store and perhaps bought more regular-priced books. Obviously, this is the type of information that a cash register cannot tell us.
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