This is Ethan Decker's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Ethan Decker's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Ethan Decker
Recent Activity
I love these inconsistencies too; they shed light on the stories we tell ourselves and the limitations of our self-awareness. Yes, just like with hypnosis or skin cream, 'actual results may vary' depending on a dozen other variables. The key point is, you often don't know what works until you try.
1 reply
Image
If you offer a 25% discount on toilet paper, you would expect to get a bump in sales. But aside from offering a bigger discount, how could you do better? The obvious process is to ask shoppers directly what would... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at Shopper Culture
Image
Based on purchase data, doctors and pharmacists are 18% more likely to buy private-label versions of basic pain killers (like aspirin) than other shoppers. Nearly 90% of headache medicine bought by pharmacists is private label (vs. 71% for everyone else).... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at Shopper Culture
Image
Since nearly 80% of fans don't start planning or shopping for The Big Game until the last week (according to a recent Marketing Arm study), there's still plenty of time to for brands and retailers to connect with party hosts... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2014 at Shopper Culture
Image
People instinctively and universally believe that high-quality products are higher priced. But the first signal of quality is the quality of the packaging itself. Walmart's no-frills packaging for its Great Value brand clearly says "low price". But they've recently started... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2014 at Shopper Culture
And a partridge in a pear tree! That's a heck of a year. Here's to more dialogue in 2014.
1 reply
Image
A while ago, we recounted the story of how a simple divider in a shopping cart can radically change shopping behavior. In fact, the little sign that said, "place produce here, all other products there" doubled fresh produce purchases during... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2013 at Shopper Culture
The ghost of David Ogilvy must be near: this feels perfectly ripe for an A/B split test. (http://sixrevisions.com/user-interface/an-introduction-to-website-split-testing/). My understanding is that Amazon (and other big online retailers) regularly use split testing to optimize messaging, page layout, etc. And I'd guess the winner will depend on the category, the brand, whether it's your brand or not, your level of confidence in the category, etc.
1 reply
There are lots of reasons not to rank products by popularity (the biggest being it's a pain to track and change assortments all the time). But the amazing ubiquity of this type of sort online suggests a big miss in brick & mortar. The profitability point is a good one, and often the way to maximize profits is not by making things easier or better for shoppers.
Toggle Commented May 9, 2012 on Why Not Top Ten Cheeses? at Shopper Culture
1 reply
Image
Most aisles in the supermarket are sorted by brand (pasta in columns), size (jugs of vinegar on the bottom), or price (“top shelf”wine). Usually there’s only one shelf in the entire store that’s sorted by product popularity: books (like this... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2012 at Shopper Culture
Yes! "If it's moving off the shelves, it must be good." But even with a properly faced shelf, people use number of facings to gauge what product is the most popular. If Heinz has 20 facings and Hunt's has 4, it's a good guess that Heinz is more popular.
1 reply
Image
Hotels.com now features an interesting ephemeral pop-up when you view a hotel listing. Not only do they show you the rating of the hotel and its overall popularity: they are now featuring the popularity of the hotel in the last... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2012 at Shopper Culture
Image
One of the world's largest shopping cart manufacturers has found that "if the cart is double the size of our regular one, we buy an astounding 40 percent more than we usually do." Similar results are found with popcorn buckets... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2012 at Shopper Culture
Lovely observations. Where manpower is abundant and affortable, this makes massive sense. Where technology actually works, that can be the solution. And a lot of it comes down to infrastructure. Los Angeles, for instance, may never have a great home delivery solution because it's over 500 square miles and everyone drives. Mumbai is around 175 sq mi and pedestrians and bikes are abundant.
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2011 on Home Delivery - The Mumbai Way at Shopper Culture
1 reply
Image
In August, Tesco pioneered the use of subway platforms as virtual stores in Seoul (partly because they ran out of real estate for new stores). Chinese online supermarket Yihodian.com then installed walls in 15 subway stations in Shanghai. P&G launched... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2011 at Shopper Culture
Image
The number one answer is they aren't even aware of it. Many cool promotions with big prizes end up with just a few hundred participants, even with millions spent on promoting the promotion. This is a terrible ROI. One cure... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2011 at Shopper Culture
Good points, Ian. Indeed, design is more than being pretty. And great design is about solving problems. Perhaps I should've said illustration instead, or graphic design. I'm actually a big fan of those "ugly" full-page commemorative-coin US-Mint ads in National Geographic. I figure they're probably very effective, in part because they're "ugly": they're designed perfectly for their audience.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2011 on When Design is Ubiquitous at Shopper Culture
1 reply
This makes me think of this great essay: http://ifindkarma.posterous.com/pandas-and-lobsters-why-google-cannot-build-s Social networks are about being absorbed in other peoples' lives. I wonder, is shopping (for many people) more utilitarian or more entertainment? Probably a bit of each.
1 reply
Nice follow-up, Erin. Even with e-commerce, the receipt in the package is usually a buzz kill. Now, not everything needs to be 'on brand' and designed and delightful, but sheesh, you'd think more retailers would add a bit more love to their last shopper contact.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2010 on Receipt Love at Shopper Culture
1 reply
From a business standpoint, they "should" do whatever they can to increase their leverage over suppliers, consumers, energy providers, whomever. They're already generating their own power (I think they're the biggest solar power producer in the US). And they might be right that they can do it more efficiently--their ops skills are their chief strength. From a cultural or moral standpoint, I'm not a big fan of their cutthroat business practices, but I don't know all the consequences of this move.
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2010 on The Long Arm of Walmart at Shopper Culture
1 reply
Image
It's hard enough to have a recognizable silhouette. But what do you do when you find that your iconic shape just isn't that functional? Heinz had this experience when it redesigned its iconic bottle in 2002: It's eminently functional: no... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2010 at Shopper Culture
I love the clear need: "I just threw out my fancy lotion!" Two other great examples serving obvious-in-hindsight needs: Rollasole: cheap ballet flats sold around night clubs for women who want to take off their heels. (http://www.rollasole.com) And Quiksilver selling limited edition boardshorts and bikinis poolside at The Standard hotels. (http://blog.quiksilver.com/?p=5295)
1 reply
While this science is in its infancy, I'm excited to see where it leads. Some things will probably turn out to be cultural (what the color gold symbolizes to a group). Some will be evolutionary (a box covered with spider photos will catch people's attention). And other things will turn out to be biological (older people can't distinguish gold from yellow as their corneas discolor). How does our visual field impact our ability to shop an aisle? Are angles and curves processed differently in the brain? How about colors vs grayscale? At some level it's photons and molecules.
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2010 on Chicken Soup for the Brain at Shopper Culture
1 reply
Image
Where along a shopper's path should a kiosk like this one go? Observational research shows that shoppers change their behaviors during a single shopping trip in some interesting ways: 1. As people spend more time in the store, they become... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2010 at Shopper Culture
Image
Getalogo.com will make you a logo for $249. Adobe Elements is $79. Pixlr.com is free. What happens when design tools and designers are so inexpensive and abundant that good design becomes common? You end up with a shelf of $2... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2009 at Shopper Culture