Several geographical, demographic and psychological criteria are used in order to distinguish between the different categories of online shoppers. This distinction is important for e-trading companies in order to know where their target customers are located, what their main interests are and how to address to them accordingly so that they draw their attention and influence their purchase decision. Thus, specialists distinguish three types of e-shoppers in point of behavioral characteristics.
On-off shoppers cannot be really defined as e-trade users as they connect to the internet in order to gather the information they need before deciding which product to buy or which brand to choose, but their purchase is generally made in the traditional type of shops. Usually very young (up to 25), they are experienced internet users and advertisements consumers. However, they do some of their shopping online if the deal is good.
Comparison shoppers, as the name itself says it, they always make their acquisitions after having thoroughly researched the product’s features and compared its price with several distributors both online and offline. Slightly older than the first category (25-29), this type of customers’ main feature is awareness. Also called dual shoppers, they will buy in any type of shop, provided the deal is good and they find the product they are looking for. Actually the second motivation seems to be the strongest one with this type of customers.
Convinced online shoppers are characterized by their strong attraction towards electronic trade. They appreciate the wide range of products as well as the time saving features and the opening hours. Active persons with a busy schedule, they are ready to pay for extra costs for home delivery as long as this saves them the trouble of walking through traditional shops. They can be slightly older than the first two categories (up to 45) and they spend a lot of time online. Therefore, they are well informed on the best online shopping locations and they use modern methods of payment.