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What category does my product fall into?

Most products intended for consumer use can be further categorised by how frequently and where they are purchased.

Convenience products:
These are products that appeal to a very large market segment. They are generally consumed regularly and purchased frequently. Examples include most household items such as food, cleaning products and personal care products. Because of the high purchase volume, pricing per item tends to be relatively low and consumers often see little value in shopping around since additional effort yields minimal savings.

Shopping products:
These are products consumers purchase and consume on a less frequent schedule compared to convenience products. Consumers are willing to spend more time locating these products. Since they are relatively more expensive than convenience products and because these may possess additional psychological benefits for the purchaser, such as raising their perceived status level within their social group. Examples include many clothing products, personal services, electronic products and household furnishings.

Specialty products:
These are products that tend to carry a high price tag relative to convenience and shopping products. Consumption may occur at about the same rate as shopping products but consumers are much more selective. In fact, in many cases, consumers know in advance which product they prefer and will not shop to compare products. But they may shop at retailers that provide the best value.

Examples include high-end luxury automobiles, expensive champagne and celebrity hair care experts. The target markets are generally very small and outlets selling the products are very limited to the point of being exclusive.

Emergency products:
These are products a customer seeks due to sudden events and for which pre-purchase planning is not considered.

Unsought products:
These are products whose purchase is unplanned by the consumer but occur as a result of marketer’s actions. Such purchase decisions are made when the customer is exposed to promotional activity, such as a salesperson’s persuasion or purchase incentives like special discounts offered to certain online shoppers.

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