Types of Digital Consumers

This research piece came out last year, but I thought it still relevant for contemplation especially as a lot of 2014’s e commerce is set to be transacted through Mobile platforms. In May 2013, GroupM Next  conducted a comprehensive study of the modern digital consumer journey which revealed six segments to exist of consumers who exhibit similar behaviors and intent.

Other trends of significance that emerged from the research included, the growing importance of Amazon as a purchasing influencer, representing one-third of all retail site visits in purchase pathways, and the important role the brand website plays as a destination for 69% of purchasers in their digital journey.

The Digital Consumer Journey: The Six Types of Digital Consumers from Scott Valentine
The motivation for the insights were to understand how consumers continue to incorporate digital media into their purchase process, exploring which sites and technology consumers use in the process of making both online and in-store purchases  and why.

Of all the consumers who utilized digital at least once in their purchase pathway, six distinct segments emerged. The segments, as identified by GroupM Next, are said to be:

  1. Digitally Driven Segment
  2. Calculated Shoppers
  3. Basic Digital Consumers
  4. Retail Scouts
  5. Brand Scouts
  6. Eternal Shoppers

It is highly recommended that brands pay particular attention to the first segment which is Digitally Driven. This class utilizes nearly every digital tool available – mobile,search, retail websites, brand websites, social and local. These are the digital shoppers that are expected to be the dominant segment of consumers within the next five years. They all embrace the digital experience beginning to end and utilise social and mobile more than any other segment in this study. They are all about convenience and will do just about anything to avoid physically going into stores. This segment is the most engaged with social media with 29% of paths eventually leading to a branded social site.

Other Key Takeaways into the digital purchase pathways of consumers include:

  •  Amazon is included in 17% of digital pathways leading to a purchase, translating to one of every three consumers going to Amazon at some point in their pathway.
  •  Consumers are just as likely to use Amazon as a point of research as they are to use it as a retail site.
  • Purchase pathways differentiate in terms of behavioral factors as opposed to demographics.