Chapter I – The Shopper

In this chapter shoppernewsblog provides a clear distinction between different participants in the purchase decision-making process to illustrate the difference between shopper and consumer marketing.

Moreover, we provide a clear distinction between different shopping missions and the very necessities of shoppers along these different trips.

Consumer: Individuals consuming a product or service.

Shopper: A goal-oriented person interacting with merchandise in order to satisfy a need. Individual who ultimately meets the purchasing decision.

Buyer: Person acquiring a product or service for her or third party’s consumption.

The first insight here is that consumers and shoppers might be completely distinct individuals (pet and pet owner for example).

Second, consumers are more concerned with motivational drivers as pleasure whereas shoppers are motivated by functional needs such as convenience of shopping or value for money.

Third, the total number of consumers exceeds the total number of shoppers. For example, in a four-person household it might be the dad and the mom doing the groceries. The ratio of shoppers to consumers in this particular household would be 50%. Same applies to the total number of shoppers which exceeds the total number of buyers. Each of us already went shopping for a product or service and returned unsatisfied without any purchase at all.

Hence, the conversion rates “consumer-to-shopper” and “shopper-to-buyer” are a good indicator of the effectiveness of any shopper marketing campaign.

Most researchers classify shoppers into three categories, namely:

a)      Quick tripExample: Beverage for immediate consumption at kiosk.

b)      Fill inExample: Pasta sauce and wine for tonight´s dinner.

c)       Stock upExample: Monthly grocery to restock household´s pantry.


They differ on various dimensions as for example:

a)      Time to consumption – Quick trip is for immediate consumption.

b)      Price sensitivity – Quick trip shoppers are usually less price-sensitive.

c)       Planning process – Shoppers on a quick trip engage in a less elaborate planning process than shoppers on a stock up mission.

All three types have different needs and hence require a distinct shopping solution. Consequently, shopper marketing campaigns must be tailored to the very needs of each shopper type to be effective.


In Chapter II you will find a definition of shopper marketing and an introduction of the agents involved.

Click here to read about technologies that allow marketers to read their shoppers’ minds.

Click here for the complete table of content


Did you find this chapter helpful?

Please comment so we can continuously improve the content.


Sorensen, H. (2011). Inside the mind of the shopper – The science of retailing, Eighth Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

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One Response to Chapter I – The Shopper

  1. Pingback: ¿El cliente es Shopper? – Mitsunori Hokuto

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