11 types of retail customers and how to win them over: Part 1

Written By: Zanthe Date: 05.12.2018 Categories: Marketing

One of the most interesting things about working in retail (well, on most days anyway) is observing the vast array of consumers. From the bargain chaser, to the time-pressed purchaser and even the agonising, indecisive store wanderer, observing the variety of potential shopper types is fascinating. 

Much like the retail space has various kinds of in-store consumers, they’re present online as well. And as any good brand, retailer, in-store sales clerk, marketing manager, e-commerce manager and advertiser knows, there isn’t one single solution which can get every single shopper type to convert. 

Each customer type has their own traits, habits and behaviours, with certain triggers working better on specific audiences. That’s why creating a specially tailored approach for your specific target audience or audiences is crucial. To help you do this, we’ve put together our list of the 11 most commonly seen retail customers and how best you can get them to convert:

1. The Small Business Supporter

These pioneer shoppers are early adopters and trend setters, priding themselves on discovering new and unique businesses. They enjoy seeking out independent e-commerce retailers, and often frequent smaller boutique stores. They are very vocal in their support for smaller niche stores, and are likely to follow these brands on social media.

On and offline selling tips:

  • Keep active on social media and update your pages with new offers, special discounts and reviews from other shoppers.
  • Engage with them on social media and nurture them to easily build exposure via word of mouth. 
  • Offer in-store promotions, niche supply and additional services (such as gift wrapping), that they wouldn’t ordinarily find elsewhere.

2. The Planner

This shopper makes shopping lists and always plans their purchases in advance (even when purchasing gifts). All purchases are planned and they seldom deviate from their shopping plan. 

On and offline selling tips:

  • Incorporate a “wishlist” functionality into your site’s e-commerce experience- this will make it easier for this type of buyer to bookmark and plan their future purchases.
  • Create hype using early-bird advertising campaigns and promotions, with bundled items which go well together.

3. The Well-Informed Shopper

This type of shopper does a ton of research before making any purchase decision. They read product descriptions, compare prices and check out reviews so that when they’re finally ready to purchase, they know a whole lot about the product or service on offer. The key to connecting with these shoppers is to get on their radar early on in their research phase.

On and offline selling tips:

  • Highlight your offering’s features and benefits. 
  • Create general brand awareness.
  • Ensure your social media accounts are always active, with a good community management team ready to addresses any negative reviews quickly and turn them into a positive experience for the customer.
  • Ensure you have an excellent user experience across various devices.
  • Make use of re-marketing strategies to keep your brand on their radar as they go about their other activities online.
  • Publish things such as FAQs, how-to videos and encourage customer reviews.

4. The Spontaneous Shopper

A spontaneous shopper doesn’t need much convincing to make a purchase. Their buying decisions are instant and impulsive, provided the conditions are right. There are typically few steps involved when they’re making a purchase.

On and offline selling tips:

  • Get rid of any distractions (like annoying pop up banners and other obstacles).
  • Provide quick and easy check out.
  • Lure the impulse shopper in with flash sales, countdown reminders and push notifications. This will quickly get them to consider your offer. 

5. The Time-Starved Missioner

This type of client knows exactly what they want and intends to get in and out of the store as fast as possible. They want to get their hands on their purchase ASAP, so they can quickly leave the store and get back to doing something else.

On and offline selling tips:

  • The best thing to do is not get in their way- if they have questions give them quick answers and don’t try up-sell to them.
  • Make their shopping process simple, fast and convenient.
  • Ensure their online registration journey on your site is quick and easy.

5 shopper types down, 6 more to go- however, we’ll have to end this article here (don’t want to make it too long, we hope you understand). Be sure to check out Part 2 of the series, where we’ll tackle how to win over the Indecisive Customer, Bargain Hunter, Loyal Customer, Social Media Fan, “Wishlister” and even the Brand-Conscious Buyer.