Type Q and Type R: Shopper Profiles

Some more 'old' research that has stood the test of time.)

However, I thought it might be worthwhile publishing this ‘for the record’ so that you now can know (and say) with confidence, based on scientific evidence, that these two shopper profiles exist.

But more importantly, it is worth considering what the practical uses of this typology are?

So, for the record:

Type Q: The functional, utilitarian patron who shops of necessity, as quickly (hence: type Q) as possible because it is a chore. This type of behaviour is characterised by small but frequent purchases which are purely aimed at acquiring merchandise for consumption. Duration of the visit is usually short, and only a limited part of the centre (if it is a large centre) or a small (convenience) centre is patronised. Target stores are usually supermarkets for grocery shopping.

Type R: The hedonic shopper who does not necessarily buy a lot but has fun and enjoys the shopping task. The visit to the centre is in a relaxed (hence: type R) manner. The aim is to enjoy the shopping experience and the actual purchase and consumption is secondary. That is the patronage behaviour does not necessarily extend to buying behaviour - or is limited to entertainment orientated consumption.

** Shoppers may switch roles during a single visit.

And, it is useful knowledge (for retailers) because:

ONE: Not every patron is a customer every time; so don’t overdo the pushy sales techniques when they are Type R. This means you (and your staff) must be able to recognise Type R. Can you? Is your staff trained to differentiate the signals?

And when they say ‘just browsing’, they are not necessarily Type R, they are usually just camouflaging their behaviour to put annoying or incompetent sale people off.

TWO: How are you catering for these shoppers who are not buyers? They obviously came into your store for something (they’ll buy next time) but what are you doing for them this time? Even if you are a ‘convenience’-type operator, there are plenty of opportunities for your to connect with the Type R, because that means they will come back (maybe next time) as Type Q.

It is easy for competitors to match your physical offer. However, if you build a few of these other drivers into your proposition, you might be able to build a more sustainable competitive advantage