4 Types of Holiday Shoppers and How to Market to Them

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday make up some of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season, and retailers everywhere are gearing up for a busy few days of sales. But all holiday shoppers are not created equal: According to a new survey, there are several different shopper "personas," each with its own budget, spending plans and shopping preferences.

Vision Critical, a market research and technology firm, recently released a survey in which it defines four major Black Friday shopper personas: the Modern-Day Coupon Queen, the Millennial Generation Shopper, the Mobile Tech Embracer, and the Single Cyber Male. The differences among these personas are particularly important for businesses planning holiday marketing campaigns.

"Different groups require different marketing approaches based on their shopping behaviors and attitudes," said David Sevitt, vice president of consumer insight at Vision Critical. "Marketers need to study the unique ways that each of the personas access information and are influenced by different information sources, and the channels through which they buy."

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Based on Vision Critical's survey, here are the four shopper personas and tips retailers should keep in mind when marketing to each of them:

  • Modern-Day Coupon Queen – This is typically a 43-year-old mother (on average) who prefers in-store shopping but loves mobile coupons. About 75 percent of this group use mobile devices to receive online vouchers, and the majority (85 percent) read e-newsletters to learn about promotions. The Modern-Day Coupon Queen spends the least amount of money on herself during the holidays, and is likely to line up for doorbuster Black Friday sales.
  • Millennial Generation Shopper –The average age of a millennial shopper is 26. While just less than 30 percent of this group shops on their smartphones and tablets, more than 60 percent use mobile devices to browse and search for products. Nearly 80 percent of Millennial Generation Shoppers admit to impulse buying, and about two-thirds are not on the go or in-store when shopping on mobile devices.
  • Mobile Tech Embracer –This group of shoppers, whom Vision Critical also called "in-store mobile shoppers," embraces traditional forms of shopping while adopting new ways of purchasing. More than half of Mobile Tech Embracers, who are, on average, in their mid-30s, prefer to shop on their mobile devices, with 70 percent or more engaging in behaviors like browsing, searching, comparison shopping and purchasing done via mobile. Nearly 90 percent of this group reads e-newsletters, and many are likely to participate in Black Friday promotional sales.
  • Single Cyber Male –This bachelor's average age is 36 and spends nearly as much on himself as he does on others during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events. Single Cyber Males typically make purchases via their computers rather than on their mobile devices (more than 80 percent). The overwhelming majority of this group browses for gifts ahead of time, and 76 percent said they weren't likely to bother with lines and crowds for in-store holiday promotions.

How can retailers use this information to their advantage this holiday season? The first step is to know who your customers are and, based on your sales, figure out the patterns in their shopping behaviors. While Sevitt noted that the outlined groups from Vision Critical's survey were not mutually exclusive, they can be used as a good starting point when mapping out a holiday marketing strategy.

"Tailor your marketing approaches differently to the specific behaviors of each consumer group," Sevitt told BusinessNewsDaily. "For instance, personas that perform a substantial amount of in-store comparison shopping are likely good candidates for mobile coupons and geo-fencing texts. As with all marketing efforts, the more timely and location-sensitive you can be, the more likely your efforts can translate into sales."

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.