Why we buy - Shopping and the Purchasing Environment

In this online lecture Professor Vincent-Wayne Mitchell, Professor of Consumer Marketing at Cass Business School, discusses the blurring of the retail marketplace where, as we see with Amazon opening a physical store, the online and offline have merged.

In Feburary 2015, Amazon opened its first physical store on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. The giant e-tailer calls it a "customer order pickup and drop-off location" and it exemplifies the blurring of the retail marketplace, as discussed in Professor Mitchell's new online talk from Henry Stuart Talks.

Consumers can now buy in a shop, on a website, via an app on a laptop or smart phone and even through a games console. Consumers no longer see a on- and offline world but a world, as we see with interactive window displays and QR codes in magazines, in which they merge. To cater to this the aim for retailers should be to create a seamless customer journey that taps into emerging consumer mindsets and the growing acceptance and enjoyment of "in-line" experiences.

The lecture discusses the three major consumer mindsets of physical commerce; Locating, Exploring and Dreaming. It also discusses the importance of the consumer's appetite for unplanned purchases. Some 60 percent of purchasing decisions are unplanned and made in-store, and Professor Mitchell gives examples of how retailers influence these decisions.

Change has occurred. Shops now pop up and pop off, convenience stores are ever more convenient, and 21st century consumption may no longer be all about ownership, as companies such as Netflix have demonstrated. The biggest change has come with mobile internet and the emergence of the 'always on' consumer. Shoppers now think about, validate and act on their purchasing decisions differently. What was a simple -"I'm just popping to the shops…" is now splintered - "…shopping is anywhere and everywhere." So as the retail legend Paco Underhill says, 'you can't waste a chance to tell shoppers something you want them to know" and in that spirit Prof. Mitchell's talk is available to view for free this month only.

Why we buy; shopping and the purchasing environment (video)