Shopping Products: Definition, Features, Types, Strategy, and Examples

What is a Shopping Product?

A shopping product is something consumers buy less often and carefully compare before deciding. It’s not an everyday purchase, but when bought, factors like cost, quality, and style matter.

These products need time and planning before purchase. Unlike common convenience items, shopping products are found in specific places.

Think of it as a product that demands attention, effort, and thought. Philip Kotler, a marketing expert, says it’s a product you compare for suitability, quality, price, and style before buying.

Imagine buying a phone or furniture – you don’t rush. You explore options, think about price, and consider what suits you best. It’s like a less frequent, thoughtful purchase.

Characteristics of Shopping Product

Shopping products are consumer goods that people buy less often and with careful consideration. These purchases involve a few key characteristics that set them apart:

Learn More: Consumer Product – Definition

  • Infrequent Purchases: Shopping products aren’t things you buy every day. They’re more substantial items, like electronics or furniture, purchased when the need arises.
  • Comparative Selection: Unlike everyday items, you don’t just grab the first one you see. Shoppers take their time to compare different brands and models.
  • Time and Effort: Buying a shopping product is not a quick decision. Shoppers invest time in researching, visiting stores, and evaluating options.
  • Higher Price Point: Shopping products tend to cost more than everyday items, so consumers are cautious about getting value for their money.
  • Selective Distribution: You won’t find shopping products just anywhere. They are strategically placed in specific stores or outlets.
  • Planning Required: Customers usually plan these purchases in advance, considering factors like budget and specific product features.
  • Variety of Choices: There’s often a wide range of options for shopping products, so consumers can find one that precisely fits their needs.

Learn More: 4 Concepts of Product

Types of Shopping Products

Based on their nature and purpose, shopping products can also be categorized into four categories. They are:

Homogeneous Products

Homogeneous shopping products are those that are quite similar in quality and characteristics. These items generally fall within the same product category and serve a similar purpose. When consumers look at these products, they often find it challenging to distinguish one from another based on inherent attributes. Instead, they might rely on factors like brand reputation, customer reviews, or other non-core attributes to make their choice.

Example: When buying a basic refrigerator, you’ll notice that many brands offer similar features like cooling capacity, energy efficiency, and storage space. Here, consumers might make their decision based on factors like brand loyalty or price.

Learn More: Kotler’s 5 Levels of Product Model

Heterogeneous Products

Heterogeneous shopping products, conversely, exhibit substantial variations in their fundamental traits. These items diverge significantly in terms of their attributes, quality, and design. When consumers seek out heterogeneous products, they must contemplate particular characteristics that harmonize with their desires and requirements. This adds complexity to the decision-making process as consumers are obliged to assess various facets of the product.

Example: Clothing is a prime example of heterogeneous shopping products. Each piece of clothing, such as shirts, jeans, or dresses, can differ significantly in terms of size, style, fabric, color, and brand.

Attribute-Based Products

Attribute-based shopping goods emphasize the importance of specific product attributes when making a purchase decision. Consumers look at various characteristics like quality, performance, design, or warranty before selecting a product. These attributes serve as critical criteria, and consumers compare products based on how well they align with their expectations in these areas.

Read More: Potential Product – Definition

Example: When buying a smartphone, consumers may focus on attributes such as camera quality, battery life, processing speed, and operating system, using these features to compare different models and brands.

Price-Based Products

Price-based shopping products prioritize the cost factor above all else. Consumers who opt for price-based decision-making primarily consider the product’s price tag rather than scrutinizing other attributes. They are looking for the most affordable option that fulfills their basic requirements, even if it means sacrificing certain features or quality.

Example: Generic brands of pain relievers are a typical illustration of price-based shopping products. Shoppers may choose the least expensive option, as the primary concern is relief at the lowest cost.

Read More: Augmented Product – Definition

Importance of Understanding Shopping Products

Understanding shopping products is crucial for successful marketing for several reasons:

Targeted Marketing

Knowing the nature of shopping products helps marketers identify their target audience accurately. This understanding enables them to tailor marketing strategies to reach potential customers effectively. For example, marketing luxury cars to an audience interested in high-end vehicles rather than a broader demographic.

Product Positioning

Understanding shopping products assists in positioning them within the market. Marketers can emphasize unique features or qualities that differentiate their products from competitors, allowing them to create a compelling value proposition. This distinct positioning attracts consumers seeking those specific attributes.

Read More: Actual Product – Definition

Competitive Advantage

In-depth knowledge of shopping products helps in identifying gaps in the market. By recognizing what customers desire but is not readily available, businesses can develop new products or enhance existing ones to gain a competitive edge. This innovation can lead to a higher market share and increased sales.

Informed Decision-Making

Marketers can make informed decisions regarding product pricing, distribution channels, and promotional strategies. For example, if a shopping product has a highly price-sensitive consumer base, offering competitive pricing or special discounts can be an effective marketing tactic. Conversely, if the product is more focused on quality, marketers can emphasize features and benefits in their promotions.

Read More: Expected Product

Examples of Shopping Products

So far you understood what shopping products are and their nature plus how they look. However, for the sake of knowledge let’s just point out some shopping goods as examples.

  • Laptops
  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Mobile phones
  • Cameras
  • Televisions
  • Appliances (e.g., refrigerators, washing machines)
  • Home theater systems
  • Cars
  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Shoes
  • Exercise equipment
  • Handbags
  • Musical instruments
  • Home decor items
  • Power tools
  • Bicycles
  • Cookware sets
  • Mattresses

Read More: Generic Product

Strategies For Marketing Shopping Products

For successful marketing of shopping products, applying effective marketing strategies is necessary. Below are the five strategies you should consider:

Highlight Unique Features

Emphasize what sets your product apart. Whether it’s a special design, superior quality, or innovative features, make sure customers know why your product is the best choice. For example, if you’re selling laptops, focus on specs like faster processors or longer battery life.

Offer Competitive Prices

While shopping products often involves price comparison, offering competitive pricing can give you an edge. Customers want value for their money, so ensure your pricing aligns with the quality and features of your product. Consider running promotions or discounts to attract budget-conscious clients.

Read More: Core Product – Definition

Provide Detailed Information

Help customers make informed decisions by providing comprehensive product information. This includes clear descriptions, high-quality images, and customer reviews. Make it easy for shoppers to access essential details, reducing their research time.

Personalized Recommendations

Implement recommendation systems that suggest complementary products or alternatives based on customer preferences. This simplifies the decision-making process and enhances the shopping experience. For instance, if a customer is buying a camera, suggest compatible lenses or a carrying case.

Exceptional Customer Support

Offer excellent customer support to address inquiries and concerns promptly. Shopping goods often requires customer assistance, so having a responsive support team can build trust and confidence. Whether through live chat, email, or phone, be accessible to assist customers throughout their journey.

Read More:  Business Buying Behavior

Shopping Products Vs. Specialty Products

Purchase Frequency: Shopping products are bought less often, like electronics or furniture, requiring time for comparison. Specialty products, such as luxury watches or designer clothing, are rarely purchased and demand brand loyalty and prestige.

Consumer Behavior: Shoppers for shopping goods consider attributes like price and quality. Specialty product consumers prioritize brand and uniqueness. Shopping goods are like well-thought-out plans, while specialty products are about fulfilling desires for exclusivity.

Read Next: 4 Types of Consumer Behavior

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