The four shopper groups shaping the UK’s retail sector | Retail Voice

As consumers refine their focus on value, what it means to be a good retailer today is more complex than ever and involves ensuring your proposition engages shoppers while delivering a great customer experience.

We recently surveyed 2,000 consumers with the goal of helping retailers take advantage of the latest trends shaping purchases and determining shopper preferences. From payments to packaging, delivery and offers, we analyzed the responses and identified four groups united by different motivations and priorities. This is what we found.

practical shoppers

Convenience is king for these shoppers. The entire shopping experience should be as smooth and seamless as possible.

This group favors e-commerce, with more than half (58%) shopping online at least once a week.

Additionally, the vast majority (93%) value retailers that cater to last-minute purchases and fast delivery times, a habit that has persisted since the pandemic.

“This group favors e-commerce, with more than half (58%) shopping online at least once a week”

Friction tolerance is low for these early digital buyers. The majority (85%) would abandon a payment if they can’t use their preferred payment method, and more than half (53%) believe they shouldn’t have to enter their payment details at all.

Retailers can win over this cohort by ensuring checkout and checkout processes are as easy and seamless as possible. Those who offer customers options at checkout and help them get their purchase in hand as quickly as possible will have the upper hand.

smart spenders

This group is primarily value-driven. They prioritize bargains and sales over repeat purchases at regular outlets, and spend more time shopping.

However, most do so out of necessity rather than choice. Many say they now have less disposable income, shop less overall (52%) and are switching to more affordable brands (32%).

This group understandably wants retailers to offer free returns (46%) and loyalty points (54%). They also want personalized promotions, with a third (31%) saying this would encourage them to spend more.

Rewarding the loyalty of savvy consumers is key, while price matches, discounts for multiple purchases and flexible payments will help win over this cash-conscious cohort.

Sustainable buyers

With the environment in mind, a vast majority of these shoppers (86%) prefer their local store over shopping online, which keeps their carbon footprint low. Two in five (40%) say an “end of life” recycling plan would make them shop and spend more regularly with a retailer.

This group also says that sustainable packaging and a brand’s ethical reputation are important when deciding who to spend with. Nearly two-thirds (63%) would only shop with a retailer that offers sustainable delivery options.

“These shoppers want more visibility into how sustainable and green the products are, as well as the green credentials of the retailer they buy from.”

Clear sustainability credentials are crucial. These shoppers want more visibility into how sustainable and green the products are, as well as the green credentials of the retailer they buy from.

experience seekers

For this group, it’s all about the experience. The majority (79%) believe that social interaction is an important part of shopping and emphasize the importance of excellent customer service instead of prioritizing speed and efficiency.

They are more likely to spend on travel and vacations, as well as household items and home improvements. But seven in 10 (69%) also say they proactively save for high-value/high-price items and restrict spending on high-frequency/low-value items.

To attract this cohort, merchants must ensure both the in-store and online experience and customer service are of the highest quality possible to drive loyalty and repeat spend.

To find out more about the current behavior of British shoppers, download the latest American Express report How We Shop: The Trends Shaping Shopping.

Dan Edelman is Vice President and UK General Manager, Global Merchant at American Express

At American Express, Dan leads the Merchant Services UK organization responsible for managing relationships with existing merchants in the network and, more importantly, enrolling new merchants in the network to increase coverage. He is also responsible for relationships with aggregators across Europe and for the growth of the Open Banking Pay with Bank Transfer business in Europe.

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