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The Four Consumer Shopping Behavior Types: Everything You Need To Know

A consumer’s shopping decision depends on the type of goods or products that they need to get. For example, a consumer’s behavior while shopping for coffee differs from shopping for a car. Based on observations, it is clear that more complex and expensive purchases involve higher deliberation and many more participants.

Consumer and shopping behavior is determined by consumers’ level of involvement in their shopping decisions. The amount of risk involved in a purchase also determines shopping behavior. 

Higher-priced goods tend to have a higher risk, thereby seeking higher involvement in shopping decisions. 

Four types of shopping behavior are known to be demonstrated by consumers. These are the following:



This behavior is observed when consumers purchase expensive goods, products, or services. Since expensive purchases are infrequent purchases, consumers are highly involved in these kinds of shopping decisions. 

As a result, they behave very differently when buying expensive goods and products or anything unfamiliar. 

Complex consumers research their purchases quite thoroughly and consult friends, family, and experts before deciding on a purchase. 

For complex shopping behavior, consumers pass through a learning process. They will first develop beliefs about the goods, products, or services, form attitudes, and then make a thought-out purchase. Brands and companies should deeply understand what they offer to consumers, especially those with a complex shopping behavior type. They are expected to help such consumers better understand their goods, products, or services.



In this behavior type, consumers can be very involved. Additionally, there is low availability of choices with fewer significant differences among brands that “dissonance-reducing consumers” will choose. With this type, consumers will purchase easily available goods and products. 

Consumers with this type of behavior usually get goods and products that do not have much choice representation in the marketplace. Therefore, these consumers will be left with limited decision-making in shopping. 

Dissonance-reducing consumers shop for certain goods or products without much research based on the good or product availability, time limitations, or budget limitations.



Habitual consumer shopping behavior is demonstrated when consumers have low involvement in purchasing decisions. In this case, consumers perceive only a few significant differences between brands. 

When consumers shop for goods or products that they regularly use, they do not put a lot of thought into it. Instead, they either buy their favorite brand or the one they regularly use (or the one available in the store or costs the least). 

Many goods and products fit into this category: salt, pepper, milk, toilet paper, and toothpaste. Consumers don’t need to show any brand loyalty when purchasing these goods or products.

Furthermore, consumers do not research or need information regarding the purchase of such products. Instead, habitual buying behavior is influenced by radio, television, and print media. 

Consumers nowadays are making purchasing decisions based on brand familiarity. Therefore, “habitual consumers” can easily remember distinctive advertisements and associate them with a particular brand.



If you’re a “variety-seeking consumer,” your consumer involvement in shopping is low. However, you can observe significant differences between brands, leading you to switch brands frequently. 

The cost of switching products is low, and hence consumers with this behavior type might want to try new goods and products out of curiosity or boredom. 

Variety-seeking consumers frequently buy different goods and products not because of dissatisfaction but mainly because of an urge to seek variety. 

Variety is said to be the spice of life, after all. Therefore, brands have to cleverly adopt different strategies for such consumer behavior.

Consumers and their shopping & purchasing decisions are dependent on their behavior. For example, there is a stark difference in consumers’ behavior when purchasing a vehicle versus purchasing toothpaste. Thus, brands have to exercise careful judgment in marketing their goods, products, and services to consumers and creating clever marketing strategies to account for the different types of consumer shopping behavior.


Editor’s Note on Consumer Shopping Behavior: 

This blog post aims to deliver to you a quick coverage of the four types of consumer shopping behavior, how it affects businesses, and everything else you need to know.                

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