WHAT IS YOUR SHOPPING PERSONALITY?
We look at Euromonitor International’s 2022 annual Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey
I am sure that, like me, you are bombarded with constant notifications and promotions – telling you about all the things that you didn’t even know you needed and demanding why you simply cannot not buy what the person on the other end of the line or even standing in a store is offering. A whole industry of call centres has sprung up to simply do just that.
The same goes for social media, bloggers and influencers – if those so-called VIPs say buy, off you go. Or do you? Are consumers that easily influenced (which explains why large corporates are quite literally throwing cash and product at celebrities and brand ambassadors in pursuit of endorsements) or do consumers still have minds of their own and an ability to make choices?
Euromonitor International’s 2022 annual Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey suggests that consumers do think before they buy – in fact, it divides shoppers into distinct personality types and urges companies who engage in retailing and marketing to better understand the different personality types and to adjust their ways of reaching those shoppers accordingly.
The flip side of the coin – which Euromonitor International does not visit primarily because they target businesses rather than buyers – is what type of shopper are you? More importantly, will understanding your shopper personality help you to make better buying decisions, understand your weak spots and perhaps even begin to sort all the wheat from the chaff?
I thought I’d share some of the interesting findings from this survey with you.
But first a little background.
The Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey explores all areas of consumer life – from eating habits to home activities to online shopping to outlook for the future. A diverse set of online panellists in 39 developed and emerging countries were invited to participate between January and February 2022. 1000 responses were captured in each market. Panellists were pre-screened to ensure that the sample matched each country’s population according to nested quotas for age (from 15 to 74) and gender.
So, here goes:
“I am content with where I am in life.”
18% of the global population
According to Euromonitor International, as their name suggests, Secure Traditionalists are set in their ways and unlikely to worry about their images or follow the latest trends. They’re also, quite surprisingly, the most common type of shopper, although only marginally.
They’re difficult for marketing gurus to influence since they rarely make impulse buys or try new products and usually stick to purchasing their essential items. They’re frugal, frequently focusing on low prices and saving money. Discounts and sales can sometimes influence their purchasing habits, causing them to choose the cheapest alternative.
The survey found that 87% do not often make impulse purchases. 78% do not like to browse in stores when they do not need to buy anything and 52% rarely or never go shopping for leisure.
In short, my husband perfectly fits this personality type. For the most part, he doesn’t enjoy the shopping experience and supports retailers who prioritise convenience and efficiency. Like his fellow Secure Traditionalists, he is still more likely to find out about a necessary new product in store but will, on occasion, look online. He doesn’t do bloggers and social media recommendations.
This shopper is most influenced by friends and family recommendations, independent consumer reviews and product and labels. As Euromonitor suggests, he’s open to the odd bargain and will repair products rather than purchase new ones.
“I want to have and be the best.”
16% of the global population
These are your trendsetters and go-getters, according to the Euromonitor report.
Undaunted Strivers enjoy living in the moment and invest in and prioritise their images. They care about what others think and like to keep up with the latest trends. Undaunted Strivers are tech savvy and are active on social media because these platforms portray a lifestyle they want to live.
In short, they’re the complete opposite.
The survey shows that 88% want products and services that are uniquely tailored to them whilst 87% believe it is important that other people think they’re doing well. 87% believe it is important to cultivate their personal brand online and 86% like to be distinct from others.
Compared to the others, Undaunted Strivers are more care-free in their spending habits. They enjoy trying new products and experimenting with different brands as well as actively seeking premium and well-known items, even if they need to pay more. Undaunted Strivers tend to prioritise experiences just as much as materialistic possessions with 86% preferring to spend money on experiences rather than products and 86% preferring branded goods. 37% seek niche or hard-to-find brands that are unique.
“I am confident in myself and the future.”
14% of the global population.
Balanced Optimists want a stable lifestyle and focus on enjoying the present as well as planning for the future. These consumers enrich their lives by learning about different cultures and creating healthy boundaries when needed. They value the time they spend on themselves as well as close family, friends and leisure activities.
As Euromonitor explains, Balanced Optimists are pragmatic consumers and cautious with their spending. But they also value personal happiness, occasionally making small impulse purchases to treat friends, family or themselves.
Though these consumers look for strong brands and premium products on occasion, they tend to value low prices. 58% like to find bargains. 38% are willing to buy second hand products and 23% enjoy spending money rather than saving. In short, balanced optimists will most likely seek simple and convenient shopping services that allow them to get the job done quickly to spend more time on the activities they value.
“I believe I have the power to affect change.”
14% of the global population.
Apparently, Empowered Activists value authenticity and strongly advocate for social, environmental and political justice. They’ve always prioritised these global issues but have become more invested in local communities and their wellness.
83% try to have a positive impact on the environment. 81% feel they can make a difference in the world through their choices and actions. 79% give back to those in need. 78% are worried about climate change.
Because this consumer looks for products with green and sustainable features, products and services should be clearly labelled and competitively priced to grab their attention. Value for money and low prices are their primary purchase drivers. Empowered Activists are also loyal—unless a brand or company goes against their beliefs and then they are more than happy to boycott a brand or product.
Euromonitor says that standout shopping habits include the fact that these shoppers are prepared to pay more for products that deliver on their promises.
69% only buy from companies and brands they completely trust. 61% prefer to spend money on experiences rather than things with 36% buying eco- or ethically conscious products. 31% make purchase decisions based on brands’ or companies’ social and political beliefs. Empowered Activists are invested in experiences and spend their time and money on activities that promote their own happiness either through holidays and cultural experiences or helping those in need through charitable work or protests.
They’re vocal about global issues and want the companies and brands they purchase from to share their values.
I have a hunch that many of these consumers are our Out & About readers.
“I know what I want in life.”
13% of the global population.
Cautious Planners are focused on the future, careful with their money and try to save to improve their financial security. While they highly value real-world experiences, they’ll also use technology to improve their daily lives.
These consumers have often already decided what they’re going to buy before making a purchase and stick closely to their shopping lists. Cautious Planners usually conduct in-depth research before making purchases.
Product labels and reviews help guide their purchase decisions. Euromonitor found that 85% tend to trust product labels. 80% steer away from impulse purchases while 75% do not like to browse in stores when they do not need to buy anything.
It stands to reason that our Cautious Planners aren’t swayed by the latest trends and don’t feel the need to keep up with new product developments. But they do value quality and well-trusted brands—until it comes to price. Saving money is extremely important to these consumers and they’ll deviate from their usual purchases if an alternative product offers better value.
“I love finding bargains.”
10% of the population.
According to Euromonitor International, Impulsive Spenders are interested in the latest trends and try to keep up with them through social media and brand engagement. However, they’re much more likely to value experiences than materialistic possessions.
91% use technology to improve their daily lives. 71% want to engage with brands to influence product innovations. 65% visit or update a social networking site at least daily.
Although this sounds like a younger shopper profile to me, when I read on, I noticed a lot of myself in this personality.
Impulsive Spenders enjoy shopping and browse stores even when they aren’t planning on making any purchases. But their experiences need to be tailored. Although they’re cautious about sharing personal information online, these consumers will make concessions to access and experience products and services that fit their needs.
45% regularly buy themselves small treats. 42% like to browse in stores even if they do not need to buy anything (imagine me with my Secure Traditionalist partner). 42% buy something via social media. 37% look for personalised and tailored shopping experiences Low prices, value for money and quality are their purchase drivers and they tend to spend on the spot if they believe they’ve found something special.
Yet, these consumers also crave convenience and are often willing to pay for it. Coupled with their likelihood to try new products, Impulsive Spenders purchase private label products alongside well-known brands and luxury items that are within budget and aligned with their values.
Their lifestyles are a seamless blend of online platforms and services alongside in-person activities. Brands and companies offering a shopping experience that is cross-channel and personalised will resonate with these consumers.
We have a perfect fit.
“I choose to focus on the simpler things.”
9% of the global population.
What the Euromonitor survey unearthed was that Minimalist Seekers are focused on a modest lifestyle. Thy try to reduce their waste and place a lot of importance on sustainability and community issues. Nothing wrong with that!
They rarely buy nonessential items or make impulsive shopping decisions, often taking their time to research products and services before purchasing. 77% look for ways to simplify life. 50% try to lead a minimalist lifestyle and do not buy new items unless necessary. 73% reduce food waste. 71% try to have a positive impact on the environment.
Minimalist Seekers prefer and are willing to pay more for durability. Their quality-over-quantity mind set and desire to minimise waste means that they’re inclined to fix products—rather than buy replacements—or purchase second hand items.
Their interest in high quality and longevity extends beyond their shopping habits to their personal goals. They regularly participate in activities like exercising, hobbies and spending time with family or friends. But Minimalist Seekers are apparently a great target audience for product innovations, new companies and private label brands.
… and there you have my shopper alter ego.
Apparently, the best way to target these consumers is with clear packaging and product labels with emphasis on eco-conscious, sustainable, locally sourced and high-quality ingredients or materials.
There’s room for an aside here. In a country like South Africa, where unemployment is rampant and the economy is shrinking, those of us who are lucky enough to experience shopping rather than simply buying essentials whilst wondering where the next meal is coming from, need to spend our money well. If at all possible, in a country that swings towards imports and “made in China” bargains, support local companies and their brands. This is the only way, to get things moving again and get local companies to invest in people, products and services.
“Family and friends matter most to me.”
6% of the global population.
I think that there was a little of this in all of us during the pandemic – whether forced or panicked.
The Euromonitor survey identifies Conservative Homebodies as those who are happiest at home. They prioritise close relationships and personal matters and are unlikely to place much importance on their image or following the latest trends.
As expected, Conservative Homebodies are careful spenders and don’t actively seek out premium products or follow the latest trends. Instead, they usually stick to their essential purchases.
83% do not often make impulse purchases. 73% do not regularly seek strong or well-known brands. 59% expect their overall purchases of products and services to stay the same in the next year. 49% like to find bargains Though they might not necessarily be spending money, Conservative Homebodies enjoy the shopping experience and browsing in stores. Memorable and unique offers, such as flash sales, pop-up shops and limited editions may attract these consumers and lead to occasional impulse buys.
They don’t have high product or brand loyalty. Therefore, new-to-market or private label brands can potentially thrive with this group—as long as prices are competitive and product features are similar to those they regularly purchase.
My thanks to Euromonitor International and Lisa Holmes who leads the organisation’s global consumer insights research for these fascinating insights.
Apart from the suggestion that brands and shopping experiences should align with shopper needs to stand out from the competition and succeed, there’s also the fact that malls and shops can cater for different shoppers in the same space without creating the sort of conflict that sends many couples scrambling for the parkade to end the agony of conflicting shopping approaches.
These insights should also allow you to select your perfect shopping partners and let the concept of retail therapy live up to its name!
Here’s to plenty of hours of happy shopping!