A qualitative analysis, by market engagement firm Mext, has revealed four key shopper types.

The researchers interviewed more than 300 shoppers on their motivations when shopping supermarkets, liquor stores and shopping centres.

“Shopper behaviour is one of marketing’s least understood and under-utilised areas, but it’s also an area of marketing where the impact can be significantly and immediately felt,” said Mext founder and managing partner, Stefan Grafe.

“Shopper types are not static.. each shopping experience is dependent
on the shoppers’ mindset. However, shoppers do not tend to stray too
far away from the type matching their personality.”

Mext found four shopper types:

Mexts  shopper profiles
Type Characteristics Relationship between principal shopper and family members
Strategists These shoppers typically have a written and mental shopping list before they go shopping, with specific brands in mind. In the retail environment they progressively tick off the items.
 
They have specified days for shopping and are not prone to special offers or new influences.
 
Marketers need to get into their decision cycle before they go shopping, through methods such as direct mail.

Most likely to use shopping as a controlling factor in the family environment.
 
They may use the purchase of a particular product as a bargaining chip.
 
Eg. Parents with children often use shopping to enforce obedience.


Explorers Explorers find that even the mundane task of grocery shopping can be exciting.
 
New products, special offers and interesting finds, often influence them. They can take a significant time to shop and may visit more specialty shops.

Open-mindedness of principal shopper often causes whole family to be open to experimentation.
 
Eg. Parents take children to Asian grocery stores as an inexpensive way to broaden their horizons.


Flutterers Shoppers in this type have a shopping list but it is less specific.
 
They often find coping with shopping overwhelming and therefore move back and forth around the store.
 
They are easily persuaded by promotions or something that catches their eye.

Have an attitude of live and let live.
 
Eg. Shoppers often return with special goodies and treats for the family and bask in the appreciation. 


Impulse Shoppers These shoppers feel they are continuously missing something and only shop when it is convenient. Therefore, they typically frequent 24-hour shops and convenience stores.
 
They are easily distracted and often buy more products than they originally intended.
Also have an attitude of live and let live.
 
Eg. Frustration peaks when family members point out what they forgot to buy and run out to buy it. They feel obligated to have family needs for the product filled immediately.