Sorensen has made a career out of studying the way consumers behave in supermarkets. His research into their behavioral patterns includes inventing PathTracker, a system that tracks the motions of shopping carts and fitting test shoppers with specially designed glasses that record their field of vision every 3/25ths of a second, telling him exactly what they are looking at and for how long. It turns out there are three different groups of shopping excursions—quick trips, fill-ins and stockups—and Sorenson studies shoppers by behavior, rather than demographic. He exhorts retailers to forget the old system of making the shopper walk through a store, hoping theyÖll make impulse buys; instead, get them buying as quickly as possible and build momentum by putting products—particularly high frequency purchase items—directly in their paths. He cites such stores as Stew Leonard and Tesco as taking full advantage of new shopper research and provides interesting studies to back up his claims. While vastly informative—even from a sociological standpoint—the book comes across as too theoretical and academic for the general reader. (June)
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Herb Sorensen is a preeminent authority on observing and measuring shopping behavior and attitudes within the four walls of the store. He has worked with Fortune 100 retailers and consumer packaged-goods manufacturers for more than 35 years, studying shopper behavior, motivations, and perceptions at the point of purchase. Sorensen’s patented shopper-tracking technology PathTracker® is helping to revolutionize retail marketing strategies from a traditional “product-centric” perspective to a new “shopper-centric” focus. As Baseline magazine commented, “Herb Sorensen and Paco Underhill are the yin and yang of observational research.”
Herb has conducted studies in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. His research has been published in AMA’s Marketing Research, The Journal of Advertising Research, FMI Advantage Magazine,Progressive Grocer, and Chain Drug Review, and he has been utilized as an expert source for The Wall Street Journal, Supermarket News, and BusinessWeek. Additionally, he is currently a panelist of Retail Wire’s “Brain Trust.”
Herb was named one of the top 50 innovators of 2004 by Fast Company Magazine, and shared the American Marketing Association’s 2007 EXPLOR Award for technological applications that advance research, with Peter Fader and his group at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. Herb has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry.