Consumer Behavior

Situational influences and the 8 Traits of Online Shoppers

i. Adventurous Explorers (30% of online spending) are a small segment that presents a large opportunity. They require little special attention by Internet vendors because they believe online shopping is fun. They are likely the opinion leaders for all things online. Retailers should nurture and cultivate them to be online community builders and shopping advocates.

ii. Shopping Lovers (24% of online spending) enjoy buying online and do so frequently. They are competent computer users and will likely continue their shopping habits. They also spread the word to others about joys of online shopping whenever they have the opportunity. They represent an ideal target for retailers.

iii. Business Users (19% of online spending) are among the most computer literate. They use the Internet primarily for business purposes. They take a serious interest in what it can do for their professional life. They don't view online shopping as novel and aren't usually champions of the practice.

iv. Suspicious Learners (15% of online spending) comprise another small segment with growth potential. Their reluctance to purchase online more often hinges on their lack of computer training, but they are open to new ways of doing things. In contrast to more fearful segments, they don't have a problem giving a computer their credit card number. Further guidance and training would help coax them into online buying.

v. Fearful Browsers (5% of online spending) are on the cusp of buying online. They are capable Internet and computer users, spending a good deal of time "window shopping." They could become a significant buying group if their fears about credit card security, shipping charges and buying products sight unseen were overcome.

vi. Shopping Avoiders (3% of online spending) have an appealing income level, but their values make them a poor target for online retailers. They don't like to wait for products to be shipped to them and they like seeing merchandise in person before buying. They have online shopping issues that retailers will not easily be able to overcome.

vii. Technology Muddlers (3% of online spending) face large computer literacy hurdles. They spend less time than any other segment online and show little excitement about increasing their online comfort level. They are not an attractive market for online retailers.

viii. Fun Seekers (2% of online spending) are the least wealthy and least educated market segment. They see entertainment value in the Internet, but buying things online frightens them. Although security and privacy issues might be overcome, the spending power of the segment suggests that only a marginal long-term payback would be possible.

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