By Britt Peterson
There’s been heaps of research done on who shops in convenience stores. Stores have done
it. Brands have done it. Research companies have done it. Agencies have done it. And it’s
useful, don’t get me wrong. It helps inform the right distribution strategy and identify
We also know instant gratification is a huge driver of sales within the convenience store
channel. We look for opportunities to convince people to “buy now,” or focus on prime
placement to enhance our chances of “winning the grab” in the store.
These are good strategies, but not necessarily great. What’s missing is the connection
between who is shopping and how they’re shopping. What if instead of just focusing on
demographics or even psychographics of who’s shopping, we focused on leveraging true
shopping behavior or need states to drive purchase? What if we focused our in-store
programs less on us and more on what people are looking for at that very specific point in
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Through a proprietary study, Cole & Weber United focused on understanding that behavior and
how championing “need states” can play an instrumental role in instigating and winning the
grab. We identified the four basic c-store shoppers based on their specific motivations for
walking into and out of a c-store.
Need states aren’t bound by age, sex, gender or ethnicity. Rather, need states cross all of
those factors and, in fact, people may cross need states on different trips. But by
understanding these different motivations, brands can better leverage true, in-the-moment
behavior to trigger purchases.
Meet our four c-store shoppers:
Mr. Jones. They’re your regulars. They’re in the c-store because of life’s simple
addictions. Yes, maybe a pack a Marlboros, but also a Gatorade, a Diet Coke or that daily
bag of Doritos. The store is a means to an end. Mr. Jones is in search of the immediate
satisfaction that comes only from that one key item. They are unfailingly brand loyal. For
them, the experience is transactional and routine, but highly satisfying.
The Neighbor. For these people, the c-store is their community center. Their trip is a
ritualistic part of their day. They’re often on a first-name basis with the clerks (if you
don’t believe this behavior exists, you should watch the recent 7-11 episode of “Undercover
Boss”). Just as they are regulars to the store, they have their regular purchase as well.
For them, the experience of being in the store matters. It’s all about familiarity. They
want to feel important and they cherish the sense of community and neighborhood.
The Last Minute Shopper. Your significant other calls and says “can you grab milk on your
way home?” You are now this person. This need state is largely driven by the home front and
a need for a last-minute and very specific item. They rarely look at the clerk or others
shopping. They are on a mission and can often seem uncomfortable in the store environment.
They want to get in and get out.
The Thrillseeker. This need state is every marketers dream. If only we could win over the
Thrillseeker consistently. This group is in search of an experience. They speak in
hyperbole. They want something, and that something could be anything. They just want
products that tap into their desire for emotion, uniqueness, personalization and frankly —
excitement. They’re brand drifters and will try anything once. So consistently keeping them
intrigued is your biggest challenge and opportunity.
By understanding which need states might be most appropriate for your brand or product, you
can better focus your programs in, around and outside the c-store. The language and
strategies used to engage a Thrillseeker are different from those used to entice Mr. Jones.
The programs you create for the Neighbor might be more about rewarding their loyalty as a
frequent shopper than about a price special on a new product. The packaging or
merchandising signage most helpful for a Last Minute Shopper is different than those that
best attract the Thrillseeker.
Identify the need state with the biggest opportunity for your brand or product. Leveraging
that need state (or even multiple states) can help focus your POS, promotions, specials and
even WOM programs to ensure they’re working as hard as possible and adding the most value
to your brand’s experience and your business.
Source: Networld Media Group 2013
The Most Common Types of Online Shoppers
By Mark Etinger
You may call yourself an online shopper, but are you really a pro? The following classes of online shoppers have fine-tuned their skills in an effort to save money every day in every way possible on their web-based purchases. Check out the list below and see if YOU fall into any of these categories.
The Early Riser
You’re going to have to get up pretty early to beat the Early Riser to a sale. They roll out of bed and head straight over to their PC, where they descend upon discount deal of the day websites that offers a limited quantity of products at ridiculously close prices. These shoppers have been known to stay in every night in order to get enough sleep to beat the competition to their mouse.
The Price Obsessed
You’ll never catch the Price Obsessed shopper scoring anything less that the best deal on the web for their desired product. The Price Obsessed shopper knows how to utilize the tools found on the web that allow them lay different prices side-by-side in order to see which is the best deal.
The Early Holiday Shopper
There’s no such thing as the “holiday season” to the Holiday Shopper. That’s because starting December 26th, they are already online, looking for NEXT year’s great gifts for friends and family. The Early Holiday Shopper knows that there a amazing deals right after the holidays on everything from shoes to electronics, and that there are a seemingly endless string of daily bargains throughout the year for the well-informed and attentive shopper.
The Gadget Head
The Gadget Head, once thought to be a predominantly male species is, in actuality, any man or woman who searches the web diligently, looking for the latest home and business electronics products. Their purchases can run the gamut from discount flash drives at deal of the day websites to big screen plasma TVs available through third parties and big box retailers. Whatever their favorite products may be, count on the Gadget Head to be out there 24/7 looking for the best electronics deals.
The Free Shipping Hunter
The Free Shipping Hunter has never paid dime-one to have an order shipped their way. They wait and search and dig until they come across those sites that offer free shipping on their orders. Patience usually favors the Free Shipping Hunter, as many online retailers will run shipping promotions throughout the year in an effort to boost sales.
The Impulse Shopper
Whether or not the item in front of him is a good deal or not, the Impulse Shopper is going to click “Proceed to Checkout” almost every single time. This is one model of online shopper that you must not emulate. While the web makes it incredibly easy to purchase an item, that doesn’t mean every one is suitable for purchase. Take advantage of the ability to comparison shop or find great deals online. Otherwise, your credit card statement could start to resemble that of the Impulse Shopper – which is to say it would be 20 pages long!
To find the best deals on the coolest products, visit http://www.dailysteals.com. Every day, you’ll find a cool new item at a ridiculously low price. If the folks on your gift-giving list are into the hottest electronics and accessories at the lowest prices, you don’t want to miss a day at Daily Steals!
Article Source: The Most Common Types of Online Shoppers