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The 5 online shopping customer segments [#DigitalInsights]

Author's avatar By Susanne Colwyn 14 Apr, 2015
Essential Essential topic

New research helps understand consumer attitudes and behaviour by socio-economic personas/categories

Do you know to what extent customers are empowered to shop online and if they are ready to engage with you? GfK was commissioned by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to research different behaviours amongst online shoppers. They have just published this in-depth research into this area, to help business growth by understanding the range of online customer segments they should appeal to.

GfK took a representative sample of the UK population, interviewing over 6,000 consumers, to find out how consumers shop, individual motivations and attitudes, highlighting differences by socio-economic background. The report segments consumers into 5 groups:

5 Segments of Consumers for online buying decision-making

consumer segments

Who do these customer segments represent?

  • Constrained Strugglers:  Less empowered group with an average age of 45 years and highest mix of ethnic background. Tend to be classified as DE social grades, lower qualifications and less savvy at managing their household bills and day-to-day commitments.  As a consumer, tend to feel ill-at-ease with purchases, not likely to research for deals or negotiate with companies.
  • Consciously Engaged: Older age group (likely to be retired) and are financially astute. Less motivated to spend time shopping or researching for promotions. As a consumer, tend to be predictable, traditional, loyal and no interest in choice.
  • Worried Indecisives: Female, younger consumer who enjoys shopping but can be indecisive. Influenced by peers, friends and consumer experts. As a consumer, engage more than then 'Constrained Strugglers' though have similar traits. These consumers would need more support.
  • Traditional Value Seekers: Older like the 'Consciously engaged, and in a strong financial position. Motivated by promotions and empowered to research. Confident shopper who is comfortable both negotiating and complaining. Conservative as they prefer to visit shops and are loyal to well-known brands. As a consumer, they are highly-engaged and will find the time to get the best deal. 
  • Leading Edgers: Qualified and affluent, compared to other segments and they are more likely to use the internet so will switch brands. As a consumer, one of the most empowered (with traditional value-seekers) and vocal to share their views post-purchase.

Segment example - How Constrained Strugglers compare to he other segments

As an example of the depth of insight in the research, here is an example of one of the segments.

Online buying decision making segments  infographicThis research is useful in building your personas, to understand how consumers are likely to interact with your brand and where to engage with them their during the buying cycle.

For more info, you can download the full 'Consumer Empowerment Survey Report'.

Author's avatar

By Susanne Colwyn

Susanne is a Marketing Consultant and Trainer, with over 20 years marketing experience in the public and private sector. She's passionate about supporting companies with practical result driven marketing, to help focus companies on evaluating and driving their marketing forward. Experienced in Integrated Strategic Marketing Planning, Data Segmentation, Customer Relationship Management Systems, Customer Insight and reviewing internal systems, data and processes, to maximise conversion strategies and the customer experience. You can connect with her via her LinkedIn or follow her @Qtymarketing.

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