As marketers, understanding why our customers buy can help in developing marketing content. The activity of consumers falls into four main categories acquisitional shopping, epistemic shopping, experiential shopping, and impulse shopping. Looking through my own shopping history, I can see that different situations offer different shopping activities.
Living in the city I engage in acquisitional shopping on a daily basis. I do not enjoy when I pay to park my car while running errands. However, I am willing to pay and park because I see the value in driving my own car and not being towed.
The last time I moved I did a lot of research on my own before talking to a realtor. I looked up reviews of different buildings and compared features like location and amenities. While I was only going to move into one apartment, I shopped around to make sure I was getting the best deal.
Recently while visiting a friend in Salem Massachusetts, we walked around to various gift shops buying souvenirs for my friends and family. Normally I would never have purchased a ‘prosperity candle’ for a friend, but since I was in Salem it seemed like fun. I bought it because I saw value in the experience and that I could say “I got this in Salem”.
As much as I try to avoid it, I do buy things impulsively sometimes. More than once, I have gone to the grocery store for eggs and left with a whole basket of items I did not plan on purchasing. This is often due to an engaging display that catches my eye and makes me want to try whatever it is.
While my own shopping habits help explain why I may buy things, it is not indicative of the population as a whole. Identifying trends in the shopping activities of populations can help marketers develop and implement profitable marketing campaigns.