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Unlocking the Retail Code: Understanding the Diverse Spectrum of Customers

Nowadays we live in the era when retail is developing quickly, and new ways of shopping appear every day. In such a dynamic landscape of retail, it is crucial to understand and distinguish the different types of customers in order to even any chance of succeeding on this highly competitive arena. 

Customers are always looked at as someone who comes into the store to make a purchase. Although, that is not always the case. In addition to the typical consumer, there are several other categories of shoppers whose needs and desires are just as important and need to be taken into consideration on a daily basis. According to a sales expert, Mark Hunter, everyone has different shopping preferences, which may vary by product type or time of day. Understanding the different types of retail customers will help your team know where to focus their energy and why. Feel free to connect with Mark Hunter on LinkedIn by visiting his profile at https://www. linkedin.com/in/markhunter/. This will be a great opportunity for you to get more insight on customer service as well as how to deal with different types of customers.

But what are the different types of customers? 

Everyone is very familiar with the customer who comes into the store to buy a white dress shirt because he is going to a wadding. Or a customer who is going into the store to buy milk because he ran out of it at home. This type of customers is often referred to as “need-base customer”. They are going into the store to simply purchase whatever it is they need. They know exactly what they are looking for and most of the time they do not need the associate’s assistance in making the buying decision. Although, this type of customers prefer the speedy, hustle-free check-out. This is, by far, the most frequently seen type of customers. 

Although, we can never forget about our loyal customers. According to M. Hunter: “Representing 20% of our customer base, this group can account for more than 50% of our sales Retaining this group is critical, especially when we take into account that a 10% increase in customer retention can result in a 30% revenue increase”. These are the so called “regulars” who come in about once every couple weeks and are interested in the brand, want to see all the new arrivals or even are simply aiming to interact with the sales associates about how the business is performing and what are the company’s plans for the near future. These are the customers who deserve the personalized approach when it comes to outreach ands communication. They are the one who’s opinion should be considered when the company is trying to make the decisions in the future. They are the main force that keeps a lot of companies moving in the right direction. 

Another type of customer that is worth mentioning are discount customers. Although they are often frequent shoppers, they are shopping more for the price than for the product. They are very coupon-oriented and will always take advantage of all the discounts possible. Although, this category of shoppers is normally the reason the inventory is moving quickly, and they do need to be approach with the specific value driven message. For example: when there is the storewide sale going on, they need to be notified about it as soon as possible and they will take advantage of it. But, this group of customers are also big returners, therefore we always need to make sure that the return policy is stated clearly and can be understood without any confusion. According to Statista: “In 2023, about 14.5 percent of (in-store and online) retail purchases in the United States resulted in returns.” Feel free to visit https://www.statista.com/statistics/876378/retail-industry-reverse-logistics-share-united-states/#:~:text=Returns%20as%20share%20of%20all%20retail%20sales%20in%20the%20U.S.%202012%2D2023&text=In%202023%2C%20about%2014.5%20percent,United%20States%20resulted%20in%20returnsto learn more about the different buying habits.

And last, but not least important type of customers are the impulse customers. Those are the people who make their buying decisions whenever they feel like buying something. With that being said, they do not have any agenda and just buy items when they are inspired. The overall atmosphere of the store as well as the customer service are the main factors that influence the buying decisions. This group of people have a high return rate due to them questioning their buyer decisions. 

Overall, retail thrives on diversity; understanding the myriad types of customers is the key to unlocking success in this ever-evolving marketplace. Therefore, there are numerous types of customers who shop in stores on the daily basis. Our main job as marketers is to be able to analyze our customer base, get feedback from our shoppers and be able to implement it in the meaningful way to create an amazing shopping experience for all the different types of customers who visit our store.  This will not only help us make profit, but also occupy the leading position in the retail industry. 

By the way, if you enjoyed reading this article, feel free to read one of my previous articles the impact of COVID-19 on Ralph Lauren by visiting https://dianakorol.com/the-effect-of-the-pandemic-on-ralph-lauren/ Also, do not hesitate to connect with me on LinkedIn by visiting https://www.linkedin.com/in/dianakorol99/.

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