8 Common Types of Customers in Retail (and How to Sell to Them)

1. The well-informed shopper

Many modern shoppers will likely fall into this category. Consumers these days do a ton of research before making purchase decisions. They read product descriptions, compare prices, and check reviews so you can bet that when they walk into your store, they already know a whole lot about what you have to offer.

2. The showroomer

Showroomers are those who try on or check out products in person, but decide to purchase them online if they find a better price. You can usually spot them when you see customers using price comparison apps or scanning your products while browsing in-store.

3. The wanderer (aka: the “Just looking around” customer)

These are shoppers who just wander into your store without any real intention. They typically walk in because something caught their eye or they’re simply killing time.

How to deal with customers who are just looking around

Customers who are “only looking around” should be acknowledged, but generally left alone. Resist the urge to jump in their face. If someone tells you that they’re just browsing, respond positively to make sure they feel welcome and perhaps casually mention that you have some new arrivals or items on sale.

4. The customer on a mission

These are customers who already know what they want and intend to just get in and out of your store. They want to get their hands on their purchases ASAP so they can leave and get back to doing other things.

How to deal with shoppers on a mission

The best thing you can do is simply not get in their way. If they have questions, give them straight-up answers and don’t try to upsell.

5. The confused or indecisive shopper

These are customers who aren’t sure if they want to purchase or they’re unable to decide what exactly to buy. Often, customers who are having trouble deciding either don’t have enough information, or have too much that they’re overwhelmed.

6. The bargain-hunter

The main thing that the purchase decision of bargain shoppers is pricing. They’re after the lowest price, and they’re willing to shop around until they find it. Brand loyalty doesn’t really come into play here.

How to deal with bargain-hunters or frugal shoppers

7. The chatty customer

These are customers who love to talk and tell stories, and while you like their enthusiasm, they can sometimes keep you from doing your job or taking care of other shoppers.

How to deal with chatty or talkative customers

If you encounter such individuals, take some time to listen and express a genuine interest in what they’re saying, but know where to draw the line. Once someone becomes overly talkative to the point where they’re holding up the checkout line or they’ve gone way off topic, politely remind them that you need to get back to work.

8. Your regular customer

Regular customers are the best types of shoppers to have in your store. They already love you (otherwise they won’t be coming back) so you don’t have to go for the hard sell.

How to treat your regular customers

Your turn

Hopefully, this post gives you a better idea on how to roll with different types of customers. And if you encountered a shopper type that’s not mentioned above, we’d love to know! Tell us in the comments, and share your best tips on how to approach them.

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George Weir

George Weir

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Hey there, I'm George from Vend POS. We love Medium, and we're keen sharing our most popular and engaging content. Hope you find them insightful & interesting!