[O]ne Midwest grocery chain used the data mining capacity of Oracle software to analyze local buying patterns. They discovered that when men bought diapers on Thursdays and Saturdays, they also tended to buy beer. Further analysis showed that these shoppers typically did their weekly grocery shopping on Saturdays. On Thursdays, however, they only bought a few items. The retailer concluded that they purchased the beer to have it available for the upcoming weekend. The grocery chain could use this newly discovered information in various ways to increase revenue. For example, they could move the beer display closer to the diaper display. And, they could make sure beer and diapers were sold at full price on Thursdays.I especially like this Sherlockian-like piece of deduction: "The retailer concluded that they purchased the beer to have it available for the upcoming weekend." But why move the beer closer to the diaper display? It seems you'd want to move the beer to the back of the store, away from the diaper display, so the male shoppers would have to walk through the store more, thereby increasing the possibility that they'll see something else they want to buy (I learned that fundamental retail trick during my three years working at K-Mart). I suspect the retailer's decision to move the beer closer to the diapers was triggered by a fundamental misunderstanding about men. The retailer probably figured that the men are coming to the store to buy diapers (a necessity), so they better get the beer near the diapers so the men buy it. In reality, of course, beer is a necessity as well. Indeed, it's even more of a necessity for a man, since, if he forgets to get the diapers, his wife will go out later and get them. Not so with the beer.
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