The 7 types of shoppers. Which one are you?

Marketers and business owners spend billions of dollars every year profiling the psychology of consumers and what makes certain types of people spend money.

Understanding why people of particular ages, genders, interests, backgrounds and needs buy what they do – and how much they spend – is the key to marketing successfully to the right target audience. This information can be worth its weight in gold to businesses and marketers.

But while these studies can dig deeply into shopper demographics, there are some more broader categories that consumers can often be categorized into based not on their demographics, but on the way they like to shop and how they go about finding and purchasing products and services.

These 7 types of shoppers cover just about everyone. Which one would you say you are?



The Impulse Buyer

The impulse shopper is a master at justifying purchases that they know they don’t need to make. There is always a good reason for buying that pair of shoes (even though they’ve already bought 3 pairs this month), or that one more toy for your gorgeous nephew.. just because.

The impulse buyer makes snap decisions. She or he could have went to the store to buy a pair of socks, and comes home with three bags of stuff to add to the overflowing wardrobe. The Impulse Buyer is the marketers dream as they take very little persuading and make purchases based on instant gratification.

Impulse shoppers are likely to overspend and use credit cards – often over and over again. And because they so easily buy on impulse, they usually don’t care about the price tag and will pay more for something than they should; just because it’s right there in front of them and shopping around would ruin the rush of excitement of impulse buying.


The Bargain Hunter

Armed with coupons, deals, online codes and reward card credits, the Bargain Hunter heads straight to the sales racks in stores; or the clearance section of ecommerce websites. They’ll scour the top coupon and daily deals websites for the maximum discount, and be on alert for the latest group buys.

This type of shopper is an expert in getting the best deals and can often form a reputation amongst friends and family as being able to find stuff at incredibly low prices.

The bargain hunter gets a rush of adrenaline when they pick up something at a reduced cost; even if it’s something they never even thought about buying before. As long as a bargain was bagged, that’s all that matters.


The Educated Shopper

Ask any salesperson at a retail store, and they’ll say that this is the toughest type of shopper to sell to. The educated shopper is a chronic researcher and has done extensive investigations into whatever item they’re looking at purchasing. It rarely matters whether it’s a $5 bottle of bathroom cleaner, or a $5000 notebook computer. The researcher will have spent hours online sifting through reviews, guides, comments, blogs, forums and any other information source they can get their hands on.

This shopper knows exactly what they want and is also very likely to have tracked down the best possible price on the desired product as well. The educated shopper is inclined to request the lowest price from their preferred retailer, as they are supremely confident that they have enough knowledge to outsmart the salespeople on every aspect of a product (which is often true).



The Negotiator

It doesn’t matter what the price tag says to the Negotiator, he or she wants to pay less. Whether it’s about getting the lowest price or just about the thrill of negotiating and winning, this buyer is one that sales people don’t enjoy running into. The Negotiator will often be armed with a list of prices from every possible store in their bid to win over the staff and notch up another win for their bargaining skills.


The Brand Loyalist

The Brand Loyalist can be found camped outside the Apple store for nights before the release of a new iPhone. Not because they need a new phone, but because they feel obliged to pledge loyalty to their favorite brand.

The loyalist will tell anyone about their huge collection of camera equipment from their preferred manufacturer, and how they’d never switch brands no matter how good the competitor’s newest product is (though they will never admit another brand could actually make a better product!).

It’s not just brands though; some loyalists aren’t fussed on brand but instead pledge their loyalty to a particular store. They’ll latch on to any product line that store has to offer, because they trust the judgement of their favorite retailer and are fully immersed in loyalty programs, online newsletters and keeping up to date with everything going on at the store.


The Browser

This shopper enjoys buying but goes in with little idea of what they actually want. They can be persuaded by eye catching images and clear benefits.

This type of wandering shopper enjoys the experience of shopping; whether it’s online or in a physical store. The Browser is likely to list shopping as a favorite hobby. Something to spend an entire Sunday doing. They feel justified in spending on this hobby so are not afraid to buy just for the sake of it.


The Practical Shopper

The frugal shopper has a list and doesn’t stray from it. They buy what they need and not one thing more. The sensible practical shopper is not persuaded by slick advertising and subliminal messages. They have a very specific budget and a certainty of what they’re buying and where – and that’s it. This consumer is the polar opposite of the Impulse Buyer in every way!
Knowing what type of shopper you are can really help you stop and think about why you’re wanting to buy something, and if you’re making the best buying decision. And if you’re a store owner or marketer, understanding buyer behavior and types of shoppers can assist you enormously in your marketing efforts and targeting consumers in the most effective ways.

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