Engaging the Modern Shopper: Five Customer Personas You Need to Know

Engaging the Modern Shopper

Have you ever wondered what makes a customer stay loyal to a brand? Is it the quality of products, the competitive pricing, or the marketing campaigns? 
In today's saturated retail market, none of these factors alone can secure a customer's trust and ultimately, their loyalty. It's all about engagement.

As the expectations of modern shoppers continue to evolve, brands must adapt to remain relevant. From creating personalized shopping experiences to establishing an omnichannel retail presence, retailers must develop an engagement strategy that caters to the unique needs and preferences of their target audiences. 
In this blog, we'll explore five emerging shopper personas that can help retailers understand their customers better, provide actionable tips and insights, and ultimately, achieve retail engagement success.

Why Retail Customer Engagement Matters in Today's Tech-Savvy Market

Modern shoppers are more digitally proficient and informed than ever before, and they have high expectations when it comes to the quality of their shopping experiences. They demand convenience, speed, and personalization — and they are even willing to pay a 16% price premium for a stellar customer experience.
However, with the buyer's journey now containing multiple touchpoints, such as social media, websites, and physical stores, it's often difficult for retailers to provide a consistent experience that makes customers feel valued and understood at every interaction. This is why retail customer engagement remains a giant challenge for retailers, but also an enormous opportunity to differentiate themselves.
When developing a retail engagement strategy, there are a few key components that retailers should consider. These include:

  • Learning What Makes Your Customers Tick. Make use of customer data to personalize the shopping experience, such as providing personalized recommendations based on past purchases or browsing history.

  • Finding Your Network. Use social media and other digital platforms to connect with customers and build a sense of community around your brand.

  • Meeting Your Customers Where They Are. Create a unified, consistent omnichannel experience to foster loyalty, build trust, and create meaningful interactions that draw customers back.

  • Choosing the Right Tools. Invest in store relationship management (SRM) technology, or retail execution technology, to track key performance metrics, streamline retail business processes, and update associate training programs for a better overall customer experience.

How Shifting Consumer Sentiments Are Shaping New Shopper Personas

As retailers, we all want to create meaningful connections with our customers. But in today's fast-paced world, it can be difficult to keep up with changing customer sentiments. 
By exploring the attitudes, values, and emotions that shape shopper behavior, we can begin to see how retail customer engagement is evolving.

Let's take a closer look at some of them:

Future Shock. Future shock is a sentiment that many of us can relate to. We've all experienced that feeling of being overwhelmed by the pace of change in our industry. And between the pandemic, inflation, and other external influences, your customers feel it, too. They're bombarded with new technologies, products, and experiences every day, and it can be hard for them to keep up. That's why it's important for retailers to offer stability in an uncertain world. By providing reliable, high-quality products and services that meet their needs and expectations, you can create a sense of trust and establish long-lasting relationships.

Overstimulation. Overstimulation is another sentiment that many customers experience. With so much information and choice available, it can be hard for customers to make decisions or prioritize their needs. As retailers, we can simplify the shopping experience by presenting clear, concise information about our products and prices, or by offering personalized recommendations based on their past behavior. By doing so, you can help your customers feel more confident and in control.

Tragic Optimism. Tragic optimism is a sentiment that speaks to the human desire for meaning and purpose. Despite facing challenges, many customers find hope in their lives and seek out brands that share their values. As retailers, we can align ourselves with these customers by prioritizing sustainability, community support, or ethical business practices. By doing so, we can build relationships that go beyond the transactional and create a sense of shared purpose.

Awe. Finally, there's awe – the wonder of encountering the unexplainable and, according to a study published in the Cognition and Emotion journal, possibly "one of the fastest and most powerful methods of personal change and growth.” Customers who experience this sentiment may be more open to trying new things or exploring unfamiliar territory. As retailers, we can tap into this sentiment by offering unique, memorable experiences. Whether it's creating immersive, "retailtainment" store environments or showcasing innovative products and services, we can create moments of magic that leave a lasting impression on our customers.

Meet the New Shopper: Five Personas to Target

Whether it's stumbling upon a product while scrolling social media, or opting for the convenience of online shopping, customers are constantly changing the way they shop and engage with retailers. And as consumers' priorities, values, and preferences evolve, retailers must adapt their customer engagement strategies to win them over. 
Here are five different shopper personas that have emerged and actionable advice on how to effectively engage with them:

  1. Control & Convenience Crusaders
    There is a growing shopper profile characterized by their need for consistency and control in all aspects of their lives: the control and convenience crusaders. These shoppers value frictionless shopping experiences and same-day delivery, and this has only been amplified by the pandemic, which has made digital shopping the norm. For these shoppers, engagement strategies that offer loyalty programs, unified shopping experiences, buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS), and delivery options are crucial.

  2. The Conscious Consumer 
    The conscious consumer values ethical and sustainable practices and prioritizes products and brands that align with their values. They care about reducing their environmental impact and are concerned about the treatment of workers in supply chains. And considering that 80% of consumers are changing their purchases on the basis of environmental and social impact, they make up a big market, too. As retailers, there are many ways to engage with these shoppers, such as embracing sustainability, taking a stand for social causes, and promoting transparency and honesty. 

  3. The Digital Natives
    A connected data system provides insights into customer behavior and preferences, enabling you to personalize their shopping experience and meet their needs more effectively. Happy customers are loyal customers, and loyal customers drive growth and profitability.

  4. Social Shoppers
    Social media has given rise to a new shopper profile, the social shoppers. They are heavily influenced by social media trends and peer recommendations and seek validation and inspiration from online communities. Retailers can engage with these shoppers by utilizing tribetailing marketing tactics, providing next-level customer service, and implementing referral programs.

  5. The Data-Driven Shopper
    A data-driven shopper profile emerged with the increased availability of data, reviews, and personalized offers. Personalization and tailored shopping experiences are essential for this persona. Retailers can engage with these shoppers by implementing data analytics tools, investing in AI-powered chatbots and customer service tools.

Retail Engagement Made Easy with ThirdChannel

Retail is changing faster than ever before, and if you're not keeping up, you're falling behind. Modern shoppers don't just want to buy products – they want to be engaged, entertained, and delighted. They want an experience that goes beyond the transaction. And if you can give them that, they'll keep coming back for more.
At ThirdChannel, we understand what it takes to give these new customers the personalized, meaningful experiences they're looking for. Whether it's aggregating millions of customer behavior data points, creating a unified omnichannel approach, or deploying any of our vast network of vetted brand reps, consider ThirdChannel your end-to-end solution for optimal retail performance. 
Schedule a free demo to learn more.

Published by Amy Dampier, VP Customer Success October 10, 2023
Amy Dampier, VP Customer Success