You may be running an online or offline store, a small startup or a huge business. Regardless, you are likely looking for growth in sales. One of the key steps to get there is to understand the different types of shoppers there are. With this knowledge as a base, you should then start to target them with dedicated strategies.
There may be a wide array of shopper types already buying from you. However, if you want to take the next step, you will need to develop strategies that specifically target each of the different types of shoppers. They have differing needs and wants, and most importantly, they are coming to you with differing intents and differing behavior. So, to convince them to buy from you, it’s imperative to develop an understanding of how they think and act. Then, you can come up with dedicated strategies to satisfy their needs.
From Different Types of Shoppers to Dedicated Strategies
Considering the different types of shoppers comes equal to segmenting your potential customer base. You may want to rely on further segmentation criteria than only the shopper type, such as demographic criteria. Additionally, you will have to think about the different types of products and respective marketing considerations.
After segmenting your customer base and distinguishing the different types of shoppers, you should consider which of those you actually want to target. If you imagine all potential shopper types out there as a pie, you do not necessarily want to target all of them at the same time. Instead, think about the match between your offering and the potential target groups.
Once you have chosen segments that you want to address, it’s time to develop dedicated strategies for targeting those segments. These strategies should consider the particular needs and wants of each group. If you, for instance, target three different types of shoppers, you will have to devise three different, dedicated strategies.
These strategies may range from designing the right products to satisfy their needs to coming up with promotion and sales tactics.
This approach is also known as the STP-approach (Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning).
Now, let’s have a look at some of the different types of shoppers and strategic considerations to convince them to buy from you.
Different Types of Shoppers and Marketing Considerations
The Bargain Hunter
Some shoppers have one key goal when looking to buy a product. They want to find the best price available. Bargain hunters, also called discount shoppers, usually come armed with coupons or discount codes, know everything about sales periods, and rarely buy anything that is not discounted.
The bargain hunter’s purchasing decision is mainly determined by price and the feeling that they are saving money.
This type of shopper becomes a bit less frequent these days, as shoppers are increasingly placing emphasis on quality. However, if you walk through the city you regularly encounter stores that seem to target this type of buyer primarily.
To sell to this type of customer, pricing is obviously imperative. So think about pricing strategies or a reward system that appeals to people on the lookout for sales and good deals. In addition, in order to grab the eye of a price checker, be certain to present the price clearly and early, as this is the most important aspect of the product for this shopper.
Every consumer is a browser shopper from time to time. Especially if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you are more than likely familiar with consumers that are “just looking”. These shoppers are typically not searching for a particular item or to buy from a particular store. They just stroll around and want to get inspired, or have a rough idea of what they are looking for in mind. Often, they are just killing time. Thus, they may enter your store and just be curious what you have to offer.
The browser type of shopper, as you can guess, typically buys based on an experience appealing to his or her curiosity. For instance, this type of shopper may find something in your store that reminds him or her of something, or have a long conversation with a sales rep.
That being said, it can be quite difficult to come up with dedicated strategies to appeal to browsers. However, there are a few things you should consider. In order to convince the browser type of shopper to buy from you, you will want to make them feel welcomed and offer them support when they have questions. Otherwise, leave them alone. Also, you may want to come up with a store layout that is easy to walk through, and display your products in a way that tells a story or builds a connection with your shoppers.
The Impulse Buyer
One of the most common types of shoppers is the impulse buyer. The impulse buyer, as the name suggests, buys on impulse when they see something that triggers an emotion or a desire. Certainly, you know the feeling: you stand in line at the grocery store and spot that delicious chocolate bar at the checkout counter. That is an impulse buy and makes you an impulse buyer.
As you can imagine, the impulse buyer’s decision making process is not driven by necessity, but rather by impulse. This impulse can be of emotional nature or be a spontaneous desire. The impulse buyer typically does not have clearly defined needs, or they are hard to predict, making it difficult to come up with strategies. However, if you want to appeal to this type of shopper, consider to place small and inexpensive items on the way to the checkout. Impulse buyers like to see products presented to them with quick-to-read information that will lead to a very simple check-out process. Also, rethink your in-store experience. If the look and feel of your branding and store layout does not appeal to the buyer, he or she will likely not buy on impulse.
The Mission-Driven Shopper
Mission-driven shoppers are looking for particular products. They typically come well-prepared: they have a shopping list that may be as detailed as containing not only product types, but also specific brands and tray sizes. For these shoppers, buying is often not an experience they would enjoy – rather, their purchasing is driven strictly by need.
Mission-driven shoppers want their shopping to be easy, fast and uncomplicated. So, when thinking about strategies to target mission-driven shoppers, try to make the shopping experience as simple as possible. Avoid any obstacles to make their experience pain-free. Then, in turn, these consumers may reward you with loyalty and come back, as it will make their shopping experience even simpler. So, make sure that you design processes and store layouts as simple and clean as possible. Have a smart Point-of-Sale checkout system to make the process as hassle-free as possible. Streamline all your customer-facing processes. Design your messages in a way that it is easy to find items. Finally, consider to set up a system to save time, such as a “buy-online, pickup in-store” (BOPIS) concept.
The loyalist is probably the easiest to appeal to from all the different types of shoppers out there. They like your store and will come back if you don’t change strongly. You may often know these customers by name and have a strong connection with them.
This type of buyer is extremely important for your sales. Loyalists give you repeated purchases without great effort and are therefore typically highly profitable buyers with substantial lifetime value.
To keep them happy, you should recognize their importance and treat them as VIP customers whenever they come by.
Other Types of Shoppers
If you cannot find your typical buyers among these types, consider this. Consumer shopping behavior is emerging. One example is the recent trend towards a greater focus on the environment and organic products. While this does not necessarily mean that we have to redefine shopper types, it means that we may have to reconsider and refresh our understanding of how consumers think and act. The important note is that consumers differ more and more in today’s world– one is not like the other. This growing diversity is a major trend we should be aware of when trying to classify shopper types: they may not always fit into one category. Don’t worry though – developing the right marketing strategies may become a bit more complicated, but by using a structured approach, you will create and deliver value to those shoppers you value most.
Now that you have learned about the different types of shoppers out there, you may already start recognizing which of those are present in your customer base. As a next step, it is key to understand the fit between your offering and their needs and wants. Also, consider further segmentation criteria. Then, you should make a decision: Which and how many of the different types of shoppers do you want to target? Eventually, come up with dedicated strategies to win their hearts.