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What’s Your Shopping Mode
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What’s Your Shopping Mode

Why do consumers buy the same baby diapers again and again, but switch between different brands of shampoo and toothpaste?

Such buying decisions can be influenced by a consumer’s mindset — or “shopping mode,” a new study released Thursday by Nielsen reports.

The study examined consumer shopping behavior across 22 home and personal care categories and found that shoppers’ mindsets vary according to the kinds of products they seek to purchase. 

“Indifferent” and “Blinkered” Modes

When shopping for bathroom cleaners, dishwashers, and bar soaps, consumers often default to “indifferent” or “blinkered” mode, where brand attachment is low and switching between brands is common.

Nielsen’s Marketing Tip:

Avoid repackaging or repositioning leading brands.  For new brand entrants in these categories, the key is breaking through to shoppers with a new, attention-grabbing innovation. 

“Browsing” Mode

Consumers are typically more engaged when browsing for shampoos and conditioners, body wash, toothbrushes, and toothpastes.  Many read labels, sniff, and test products before buying.

Nielsen’s Marketing Tip:

Be sure you’re stocking a wide assortment or products.  Innovative packaging will also play well with shoppers in “browsing” mode.

“Buzz” Mode

When shopping for hand and body lotions, air fresheners, and baby toiletries, consumers are open to experimentation.  Many actively seek out product information.

Nielsen’s Marketing Tip:

It’s important to generate “buzz’ for these products through exciting advertising and innovative packaging that grabs consumers’ interest and attention.  Constant innovation — new product introductions and new variants — will keep shoppers engaged.

“Bargain-Activated” Mode

Purchases of toilet paper, laundry detergent, paper towels, facial tissues, liquid hand soap, and batteries are frequently influenced by price discounts. 

Nielsen’s Marketing Tip:

Shoppers will flip their choices easily when faced with promotions.  Here, choice is difficult to influence on a sustainable basis.

View the full press release.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in Supermarket News and Media Post.