Three Types of Fashion Shoppers We’ve Met At least Once in Our Lifetime
I wrote this post last year and at the time, I was trying to put my experience into context as a person who enjoyed the activity of shopping with people I enjoyed spending time with. I’m returning to this post because it still rings true today. With so many things happening in our world, including corona vee 😲 and our changing shopping habits 🙄…ahem decline in retail… I think it’s ever more important to have this conversation.
And if you’re reading this and thinking, OMG, what does shopping have to do with fashion.👗There’s no fashion style photos for me to scroll through?! I totally get it…You’re more than welcome to skip over to my About Me page to learn more about this blog!
…at the pieces in my closet, I can trace each piece back to a social experience I had at one point. Whether the experience was with my mom, friends or my boyfriend. The latest experience I had was shopping in India for a friend’s wedding with my Other Half.
So from experience, observations, interviews and studies I’ve read, I’m concluding there’s three types of shoppers we can all identify with. Read more below to find which one you relate to most.
The Escapist Shopper
The Escapist shopper can span generations. They can be Baby Boomers or Gen-Xer’s who’ve spent time physically shopping in stores before the age of the internet. They can also be Millenials and Gen-Zer’s who enjoy shopping by scrolling through store pages on websites or social media. The common theme is that the shopping experience is a form of mental reprieve and therapy. So just as Millenials and Gen-Zer’s want to escape reality by looking through social media, binge watching Netflix or scrolling through stores online, the Baby Boomers and Gen-Xer’s spend hours in the store or mall lingering to find something that makes them happy. Have you met an escapist shopper who loves to unwind and shop in stores on their own?
The Intentional Shopper
Then there’s the Intentional shopper. Similar to how the escapist shopper can span generations, the intentional shopper can span different class groups. They can be a price conscious shopper on a budget or a luxury shopper with no budget. The common theme is that the shopping experience is based on a set of parameters. These parameters can be by price, by core values or by the use of their time. The intentional shopper is one that has a mission and a goal they want to stick to within these parameters. Have you met an intentional shopper who knows why they walked into a store, what they’re going to buy and don’t care to spend more time looking around other stores because they’re on a mission?
The Social Shopper
Now, the Social shopper can span both generations and different class groups. The social shopper typically shops in groups. They can be mother-daughter duos, couples, friends, local families or tourist families traveling. The common theme is they use the shopping experience as an activity to bond over. It’s the time spent shopping with the people they enjoy hanging out with the most that makes the whole shopping experience entertaining and memorable. This is why the mall experience may seem appealing to the social shopper. There are a variety of places that can appeal to all members in the group whether it’s dining, shopping or the movies. And because the social shopper prioritizes the whole experience over individual stores, they may not have time to do intentional research on individual stores prior to shopping.
So the social shopper may be faced with two similar stores that visually appeal to them and sell the same exact type of clothes but one store may be in the news for embezzling money while the other store next to it may be a local B corporation. However, with no prior knowledge of this information, the social shopper may just walk into either unknowingly. Have you met a social shopper who calls you up when there’s a nearby deal happening in store or when they just want to hangout with others while shopping?
What matters most
…is how you feel most comfortable shopping. Is there a way to combine the escapist shopping experience with an intentional shopping experience and a social experience? I think there is.