Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Social dispticks: Shopping as change indicator

Paco Underhill, Author of "Why We Buy: The science of shopping"
Founder and CEO of Research and Consulting firm Envirosell

  • Claim: Visual language is evolving faster than spoken language. 
  • Claim: Most of the people designing the new visual language are younger...
  • The majority of the developed world's discretionary income is in the hands of the over-50s.
  • Claim: We live in a world owned, designed, and managed by men...and yet a world that expects women to participate. What makes this female friendly?
  • [gender stereotypes are shooting forth from the stage...]
  • Claim: 60% of all university attendees are female.
  • Time: our approach to retail and online is about saving time...but this requires that we distinguish between novice thru expert.
  • Global vs. Local
  • Maslow's hierarchy of needs is being reordered...claim: around the world people are paying their mobile phone bills before housing or clothing. The need to stay connected.
  • Convergence between online, mobile and bricks and mortar are colliding.
  • [Video of how Envirosell does research...instore video and interviews...ethnographic approach...a usability-like approach to understanding consumer behavior at retail]
  • [would be an interesting approach to support consumer brands associated with insect control!]
  • IN 2008 collecting data is easy. The challenge is not collecting data its deciding what to do with it.
Audience Questions
  • How do we integrate data with understanding? Look at inventing tools that can be used in an ongoing basis. Going out and taking a look in place is still important to informing the data that can be collected thru automated means.
  • What do you think about customer centric models? We either have to specialize or supersize...who do we want to serve? Be good at it.Being all things to all people is becoming less and less viable [what does this say about the integrated agency model?]
  • How does your research method work? Always with permission of the merchant. Sometimes put a sign in the store that market research is being conducted. Observational researcher...not particularly concerned with waht the individual does, but rather patterns...does not feel particularly concerned with privacy of those being observed in public. The obligation is to act responsibly with the data.
  • What major changes have you seen in shopping patterns? Their are certain things that are biologically based and true (e.g., right handedness). Some things vary by geography and culture. Other changes are occuring in people as a species...such as evaluating our lives with a different view (such as approaching an age of austerity due to economic conditions and the acute awareness in the disparity between rich and poor)...he beleives suburbia and cars are evil and explain the rise in the need for connection online. [though in this age of self evidence, we will expect no more than this uninformed opinion to support itself ;-) ] 

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