The 5 Types of Online Shoppers You Need to Understand

JJ TysonWebsite Experience

5 Types of Online Shoppers

Online shopping has literally changed the way people do business. Customers around the world can shop for nearly anything from nearly anywhere.

Just as shopping has changed, so have shoppers. Ecommerce allows consumers to purchase products in ways that would have been difficult or impossible in the past. For example, comparison shopping used to require hours of time and driving from store to store. Now, prices across the internet can be compared with one search. 

We’ve broken down the 5 types of online shoppers you need to understand. Let’s take a look at them so we can really understand the different info customers are looking for when visiting your site.

The 5 Types of Online Shoppers

1. Bargain Hunter
Educated Guesser
Early Adopter
Instant Gratifier
Experience Lover

The Bargain Hunter

  • Focused on value
  • Compares prices
  • Searches multiple sites

Bargain hunters aren’t necessarily looking for the lowest price as much as they are the best value. Sure, lower prices help incentivize their buying process, but they are looking for the most value per dollar paid. You can combat price sensitivity by:

  • Shifting the attention to features your products offer
  • Outlining why customers love your products / services
  • Detailing makes you stand out against your competitors

If your customer is a true bargain shopper, they already how your prices compare, now they need to understand why they should shop with you.

Of course, an incentive doesn’t hurt. But make sure you avoid making common coupon strategy mistakes.

The Educated Guesser

  • Researches extensively
  • Compares products
  • Wants to make informed decisions

This type of online shopper is comparing, but they aren’t comparing prices. This shopper is looking for the best quality and features that fit their needs. They don’t want to feel like they made a bad decision, so they will spend hours researching until they feel informed enough to purchase. With this shopper, you’ll want to help make their purchase decision easy by:

  • Provide relevant specs for your products
  • Include detailed lists of product features
  • Incorporate social proof / reviews on your site

The trick to swaying this shopper’s decision is to provide them an easy way to find all the info they’re looking for on your site – once they leave, it’s hard to get them back. 

The Early Adopter

  • Looks for the latest
  • Upgrades often
  • Wants to be the first

Our early adopter is obsessed with having the latest and greatest. They will replace a perfectly good product with another just because it’s newer or trendier (iPhone, anyone?). These shoppers want to stay in-the-know on when the next product is scheduled to come out. If your online store is known to be a trend-setter, you’re likely to find some loyal customers. These shoppers respond well to:

  • Targeted email tactics to keep them engaged
  • Inbox incentives (i.e. coupons codes, exclusive product info)

If email is the way you decide to go with capturing this shopper, make sure you’re staying compliant. That includes CCPA, GDPR, and all other global provisions.

The Instant Gratifier

  • Looking to buy quickly
  • Time sensitive
  • Easily lost

This ‘Buy Now’ shopper is sort of like an ‘eats-while-driving-because-it’s-more-efficient’ kind of shopper. They are all about convenience. They know what they need, search it, and get it. To up your chances of keeping this shopper on your site, you should:

  • Implement a guest checkout option
  • Shorten your checkout process to make it faster

Their interaction with your store is very brief and if they can’t get what they need from you quickly, they’ll go somewhere else. These online shoppers are similar to impulse shoppers. If you make it simple, shoppers will easily convert. Don’t forget to optimize checkout for mobile devices.

The Experience Lover

  • Wants to feel special
  • Focuses on overall experience
  • Extremely brand loyal

The experience-loving shopper loves to feel special (who doesn’t?). They buy into the brand and shopping experience more than any other aspect of the buying process. Some of the ways you can maximize the experience for this shopper are to:

  • Develop a reward or loyalty program
  • Entice them with an exclusive ‘members only’ newsletter
  • Drive in the idea that the experience you provide is unlike your competitor’s

Exclusivity and uniqueness are some of the pillars that these shoppers keep in mind. Brands like Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, and Chanel have mastered the art of experiential shopping and customer experience. But don’t worry, so can you. 

Understanding Your Shoppers

While it’s easy to think of your customers as a homogenous group, they’re very different. They each have their own needs and interact with your products, services, and store differently. Understanding these interactions and integrating strategies to meet those needs can make all the difference for your business’s conversion rates.

Once you have an idea of the types of customer you most often attract, you can develop an in-depth strategy to capture them. Remember, creating a one-size-fits-all strategy can do more harm than good.

Check out UpSellit’s 5 Types of Shoppers infographic. You will learn more in-depth about the 5 types of online shoppers that visit your site and find key info on the engagement strategies that convert them.

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