How to Engage the Shopper Profiles of Tomorrow

How to Engage the Shopper Profiles of Tomorrow

A shopper profile is a description of a type or a set of customers. It describes the preferences and typicalities of a certain group of customers. While each individual is unique and has different needs and wants, customers can be divided into groups or profiles based on their similarities. 

There are various types of shopper profiles you can create, depending on the criteria you select. In this article, we are going to focus on emerging shopper profiles, taking into account customer sentiment and feelings. Let’s get started!

The ever-changing industry

2020 is the year that shall not be mentioned. However, that was the year when the change started to happen. After 2 years of the pandemic in which many stores were closed and people were experiencing fear and anxiety due to lockdown, the retail industry was finally preparing for the new normal. Then the war started in Ukraine which has a massive impact on the inflation rate and the supply chain. This, of course, impacted the retail sector and the behavior of shoppers. 

In one of our previous articles, we discussed common shopper profiles for grocery stores. However, due to all of these shifts and problems, customers are also changing their preferences and adapting their needs to the new climate. 

Consumer Sentiments that are shaping new profiles

In the report Future Consumer 2024, WGSN presented 4 customer sentiments that are shaping the new shopper profiles:

Future shock

In a homonymous book written by Alvin Toffler and his spouse Adelaide Farrell, future shock is defined as a “personal perception of too much change in too short a period of time”. As mentioned above, in just 3 years, the world experienced so much change that we are incapable to cope with it. A pandemic, a war, a complete shift in the way we work and live, and a huge rise in inflation have definitely made a major impact on our behavior and shopping habits. Future shock is experienced by many people nowadays as they are always on guard waiting for the “other shoe to drop”

Overstimulated

Since the Pandemic forced us to work from home and turn to digital connectivity instead of human connection, we’ve been experiencing an overload of stimuli. We are more connected than ever thanks to the ever-evolving technology. However, we might not be prepared to handle all of the stimuli that are heading our way. 

Professor Mark Smith says that thanks to the Pandemic, we’re going through the biggest shift in sensory experience since human history began. Usually, sensory shifts and perceptions tend to happen over years or decades. However, we were obliged to change in just a few months. This, of course, has a major impact on our behavior because we feel the need to be connected at all times, but we are not mentally ready for the amount of data and stimuli we are receiving which has led to a decrease in attention span.

Tragic optimism

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, the pioneer of logotherapy and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, first defined Tragic Optimism as “the search for meaning amid the inevitable tragedies of human existence.” It’s all about finding hope and joy even when the times are hard and you experience challenges. 

Don’t mistake tragic optimism with toxic positivity. It’s not about pretending to be happy all the time and ignoring issues, it’s all about coping with change and hardship. The Covid-19 crisis made us realize that there is a different if not a better way to work and live. We had more time to discover and take care of ourselves. 

Awe

Lastly, these last few years left us in awe. This sentiment was defined by Ethan Kross as “the wonder we feel when we encounter something powerful that we can’t easily explain”. It brings us together and allows us to easily connect with one another. This sentiment can help us decrease anxiety ( a common health issue nowadays) and increase empathy. 

A study published in the journal Cognition and Emotion states: “Awe-inducing events may be one of the fastest and most powerful methods of personal change and growth.”

New shopper profiles

These sentiments are shaping the new shopper profiles that retailers and brands should keep an eye on. 

Control-seekers

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After all of the change, many people are trying to find some consistency in their lives. Having a routine, going shopping at their regular stores, and trying to control the controllable is what unifies this group of consumers. 

The need for consistency and control also has an impact on how these shoppers select what they buy and where they buy from. 

How to engage these shoppers?

Loyalty programs

Loyalty programs are amazing tools that can help you increase customer satisfaction. Control-seekers enjoy these campaigns because they get to save some money or receive free products while shopping at their favorite stores. Consider implementing this type of program on a mobile app to make it more convenient. 

Frictionless experience

A control-seeker definitely appreciates a frictionless experience. They want to be able to move from one channel to another and feel like they have a unified brand experience. Make sure that your shoppers are able to shop both online and offline and receive great customer service and a unified experience. 

BOPIS and grocery delivery

 BOPIS recorded more than a 100% growth in 2020. It’s a great option for people who want to save up time and make sure that they get exactly what they put on their list. Without distractions and with a planned delivery, online grocery shopping is another great option for Control-seekers. If you want to engage this shopper profile offers multiple shopping options (BOPIS, online shopping, and home delivery).

Conscious consumers

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Moving on to our next shopper profile we have the conscious consumer. Millennials and Gen-Z are challenging the current values of the world: “What if we don’t work for 8 hours? What if we don’t take the path of our parents? How about caring for the Planet instead of constantly consuming?” 

Conscious consumers are not only conscious of the environment, but they also feel the need to care for themselves and protect their needs and wants. 

How to engage these shoppers?

Sustainability in retail

For this shopper profile, consumerism is something they dislike. Conscious consumers want brands and retailers to provide sustainable products and services. Sustainability in retail is the future because it helps retailers please consumers and protects the environment. Also, for conscious consumers, you should consider providing more eco and plant-based products as they are also taking care of their health.

Taking a stand

Did you know that 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about? Taking a stand for a social cause and supporting a minority is an important thing for conscious consumers. 

Transparency and honesty

While these shoppers appreciate brands that get involved in social causes, they dislike brands that are practicing greenwashing or rainbow washing. The best way to communicate with conscious consumers is to focus on transparency. Promote your initiatives but make sure that you walk the walk, not just talk the talk. 

Innovation Hunter

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This group of consumers loves innovation and technology. They found ways to monetize their technical skills and provide an experience for other consumers. Influencers, streamers, and other technology-connected consumers want to see a change in stores. 

How to engage these shoppers?

Omnichannel retailing

This shopper wants to be able to shop whenever they feel like it. Having an omnichannel strategy is a must for the Innovation Hunter. Make sure that you also provide a frictionless end-to-end experience and that your campaigns are available on all channels. 

Instagramable stores

Influencer marketing is extremely popular nowadays. Everybody wants to find Instagramable settings to create posts. Decorating your store or creating a special place for Instagram photo sessions is a great way to attract Innovation Hunters. 

Visibility in the Metaverse

As you might expect, Innovation Hunters are passionate about the Metaverse and expect brands to join this space. More and more companies are present in the Metaverse and retailers and brands should invest more in this channel

Connection makers

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Connecting with others is a great way to cope with change and challenges. Connection makers are people who want to experience more special moments with their loved ones and who want to reminisce about the past. This shopper profile thrives from human connections. 

How to engage these shoppers?

Tribetailing

For connection makers, the most important thing is to feel like they belong. This is why they join various groups and so-called tribes. Tribetailing is a great marketing tactic for brands and retailers that want to engage Connection makers. 

Next-level customer service

After the pandemic, almost everybody feels the need to have more interaction with other people. Providing great customer service and making sure that consumers can have a chat with brand representatives and employees is a must-have nowadays. 

Referral programs

Since this group loves to connect with others, they have a great network. A good strategy for retailers and brands to turn them into loyal customers is to implement a referral program. If you want to attract these shoppers you might want to consider a two-way referral strategy. 

Change is the only constant in retail

Shopper needs are changing and brands and retailers need to adapt to these changes. Understand what your customers need and want and try to find the right strategies to engage them in-store and online.