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8 Types of Shoppers Sellers Need To Know This Holiday Season

Andrea Reiher, Writer

In this time of economic uncertainty, retailers everywhere are navigating the new in-person and eCommerce landscape.

While the way people shop may be changing, what hasn’t changed are the types of shoppers making these purchases. From buying gifts at the last minute to purchasing based on the values behind a brand, retail shopping behavior will continue to play a large role in effective holiday marketing. 

No two shoppers are alike, and each expects a certain type of customer experience as they go on the hunt for the perfect gift. By understanding these eight personas, sellers can tailor their sales approach to meet the needs of their customers.

We’ve compiled some holiday marketing tips that speak to what these personas care about during this holiday shopping season. 

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1. Holiday traditionalist

These shoppers have been compiling their list for months, and now they’re ready to start buying. They’re looking for much more than gifts, however. A traditionalist also looks forward to picture-perfect holiday events, so be sure to have food, beverages, and decorations on hand as well. With traditionalists relegated to more eCommerce than in-person shopping due to the pandemic, themed bundles and eye-catching virtual displays are a must.

Read more about traditionalists here.

2. Brand loyalist

Eighty percent of consumers gradually gain brand loyalty over time, and the best way to attract them is to offer high-quality products at competitive prices. They also love personal touches, like samples or handwritten notes, and they want to have a personal connection to your brand. Remind them that we’re all in this together and patronizing their favorite brands can help those businesses stay afloat during these challenging times.

Get all the information on brand loyalists here.

3. Ethical shopper

Consumers are becoming more mindful of their choices every year. Sustainability, zero waste, fair working conditions, and charitable giving are all top priorities for the conscientious shopper, so it’s important to highlight any of these that your business participates in. These shoppers also love to get personally involved. Offer a way for them to partner with your business on Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) to support good causes. Additionally, if you are doing anything to help frontline workers, like donating food or supplies, that is a great way to appeal to the ethical shopper during the pandemic.

Here’s all you need to know about ethical shoppers.

4. Networked shopper

No one is more dialed in to what’s hip and happening than the networked shopper. These consumers want authentic content, real-life photos, and reviews from other customers via social media and retailers’ apps. They value other people’s opinions and like to share their own. Now more than ever, social media and apps are important because in-person shopping has gotten so sidelined by quarantining and social distancing.

Feedback and shareability are crucial with networked shoppers. Read more about them here.

5. Impulse shopper

The average American consumer spends over $5,000 each year on impulse purchases, and the holiday season is the perfect time to capitalize on that. Impulse shoppers cannot resist a sale, deal, or discount, and they also love features that let them indulge their impulses without taking too big of a risk, e.g., warranties, money-back guarantees, and easy return policies.

Learn more about these quick-thinking shoppers here.

6. Experiential shopper

Shopping as an experience and giving experiences as gifts are becoming all the rage, with 40% of consumers saying they would love to receive a gift of experience.

These “retailtainment” lovers want to go and see and do, and give something that creates lasting memories. With in-person shopping limited this year, offering experiences means thinking outside the box, but it can be done. Think virtual classes, workshops, demonstrations, and virtual pop-up events on social media when trying to capture the attention of this shopper.

Check out our experiential shopper profile for ways you can optimize experience gifts and how to turn your retail store into an experience.

7. Bargain hunter

Bargain hunters are not impulsive; they will absolutely wait to purchase something until it goes on sale. But they also go hunting for bargains as a way to have fun with shopping, so if you can turn your sales into a game or interactive countdown of some kind, you’re sure to catch their eye. Plus, bargain hunters are a growing cohort, especially during the pandemic. A good deal or buying in bulk is all the rage for people trying to save money.

Read all about these frugal shoppers here.

8. Procrastinator

This type of shopper needs your help, and they need it ASAP, because they’ve left all their shopping to the last minute. This help can take the form of expedited shipping, shopping guides, suggestions, last-minute deals, or gift cards and certificates. This is especially important right now because they’re looking online for something they can get practically overnight. Help take the guesswork out of their shopping list and make fast shipping a priority.

Read more about the holiday procrastinator here.

Andrea is a freelance journalist covering eCommerce branding, holiday shopping, and how experiential retail and experiential gifts are becoming increasingly popular.