Six new customer personas that retailers need to know about

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Amidst the tightening of purse strings to make ends meet and the evolving purchasing habits of Australian consumers, a study has revealed six new consumer personas that reflect what Australians are concerned about, where they’re focusing their budgets, and how they want to interact with brands and products — and it’s something the nation’s retailers need to know about.

Earlier this week, global commerce company Shopify, which powers 25% of all online commerce in Australia, released The Shopify Australian Retail Report in partnership with YouGov.

The study of more than 1,000 Australian consumers sheds light on shifting consumer behaviours, priorities, and financial stressors that have evolved amidst the current economic conditions and headwinds, as well as laying out pathways to growth for retailers to connect with customers who are facing economic pressures.

The Value Valuer, The Local Local, The Savings Seeker, The Mindful Moneybags, The Picky Purchaser, and The Social Shopper are the six new consumer personas retailers need to take note of according to the research. The personas were grouped by a number of behavioural factors and each cohort’s financial stressors and outlook, purchase intentions, major life priorities, and shopping expectations were analysed.

With the exception of The Mindful Moneybags, whose primary cost-cutting measure was postponing holidays, the other five personas said the main expense they are cutting back on is dining out.

The report confirms that 57% of Australian consumers are optimistic about their personal situations, but there is a split on the economy as a whole, with 48% optimistic and 45% pessimistic. Mindful Moneybags were the most likely to be optimistic about their personal situations at 74%, while Picky Purchasers were most optimistic about the economy at 76%. 

Savings Seekers were most pessimistic about their personal situations at 49%, and the economy at large at 58%.

In addition, 93% of Australians say their priorities have changed over the past three years, with health as the top priority for 63% of Australians and all personas.

Shopify’s director of technology services and enterprise for the Asia-Pacific region James Johnson said it would be remiss to expect customer priorities and behaviours to remain unchanged from 2019 or prior. 

“We’ve seen an onslaught of successive macro-level events impact so much of our lives — from the obvious prioritisation of health post-pandemic, to the fact that millions of Australian homeowners have faced not only their first but their twelfth interest rate rise in the past year,” he said in a statement. 

“But what we’re seeing is that while, across the board, Australians share some common priorities and challenges, when you dive deeper into the data you find that there are clusters of customers where these diverge.”

Following health, five of the six cohorts cited ‘spending time with family and friends’ as the second-biggest priority, aside from Mindful Moneybags who prioritised ‘improving my personal situation’.

The report also reveals that 56% of Australians are spending more time at home, with 33% of Australians saying that was ‘a lot more’. Picky Purchasers at 45% were most likely to be spending ‘a lot more’ time at home, whereas 11% of Social Shoppers were home ‘a lot less’.

Forty percent of Australians are stressed about the cost of groceries and essentials, with 54% of Savings Seekers and 25% of Mindful Moneybags the most and least stressed.

Zhoe Low, global general manager at luggage brand July, said the Smart50 winner is seeing more customers prioritise quality and value for money over a bargain.

“As a brand that means starting with great products and great promises which you then follow through on. In the current environment, you’re fighting a lot harder to get that dollar and you can’t get away with bad products,” Low said.

The Shopify Australian Retail Report also reveals that 78% of consumers are prioritising value for money when shopping, as Australians are almost twice as likely to be stressed about higher prices of groceries and essentials than they are about the cost of housing.

The six new consumer personas that retailers need to know:

  • The Value Valuer: They define value as ‘quality that lasts’, and prioritise product quality over brand. Least likely to be influenced by a celebrity or social media, this is the largest group, representing 32% of all consumers surveyed.
  • The Loyal Local: They also value quality over brand and price, and are likely to switch brands to support local or more sustainable businesses. The most likely to switch to public transport to save money, this is the second largest group, representing 24% of Australians.
  • The Savings Seeker: They are the most stressed consumers overall, and are the most price-sensitive of all groupings. By far the most likely to switch to private label brands, this persona represents some 22% of consumers.
  • The Mindful Moneybags: The wealthiest and most environmentally conscious cohort, these shoppers have not felt enough of an impact to change their shopping habits and make up 10% of Australian consumers. 
  • The Picky Purchaser: The second highest-earning shoppers, this cohort has the highest expectations when it comes to the shopping experience. They are the most brand-loyal by a considerable margin and comprise 8% of Australians.
  • The Social Shopper: The most likely to shop online and the most influenced by influencers, this cohort is named after its members’ penchant for digital interaction. They prioritise speed in the purchase experience, but are the least demanding overall and make up just 3% of consumers. 


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