Characteristics of Purchasers

There are a number of differences that are notable between in-home shoppers and other shoppers. These differences may be classified according to socio-economic status, race, wife’s employment status, and geographic location. It must be pointed out that, because of methodological differences between studies and the limited amount of research these results are not conclusive.

1) Upscale households: With few exceptions, in–home shoppers are described as above average in socio economic status. These differences increase with in home shopping intensity and are especially pronounced among households utilizing several in home shopping modes.
2) Racial patterns: It appears that black and white households differ little on total in-home shopping expenditures or frequency. However, shopping mode differences do exist. For example blacks do less mail order buying than do whites at similar income levels.
3) Working wives: It might be expected that working women restricted in shopping time flexibility would take advantage of in home shopping. However this relationship has not been supported so far. In fact, some research indicates that part time female workers and house wives are more likely to shop in home than are women employed full time.
4) Geographic location: There is a limited evidence that geographical location within a trading area influences in home shopping with those in rural areas utilizing it more than their urban counterparts do. Its use seems to be higher where there is greater retail inaccessibility and inadequacy.
5) Other characteristics Households with preschool children, single males under 40 years of age, and female household heads 40 – 49 are more likely to shop in-home.

In Home shopping motivations

There are several motivational and lifestyle factors which influence in home buying the most important ones are discussed in this section.

Convenience: Shopping convenience is probably the most important motivator in consumer decisions to shop at home and is the one so often stressed by the industry. There are several different types of convenience that in shopping potentially offers: It can (1) reduce the total amount of time spent on shopping, (2) provide more flexibility in the timings of shopping (3) save physical effort; (4) save aggravation and (5) provide the opportunity to buy on impulse. High convenience orientation does explain some but not all in-home shopping motivates motivations. For example, phone shoppers seem especially convenience oriented while catalog buyers not only want shopping convenience but also merchandise assortment and uniqueness competitive prices, and useful descriptive shopping information Mail order’s strength toady seems to lie less in its shopping convenience than its ability to offer new, unique personalized products.

The risk of Buying:

In spite of the obvious advantage of shopping at home the higher perceived risk that may be associated with buying by description partially explains why many consumers are hesitant to use this particular technique. Research on telephone, direct selling and mail order shopping supports this hypothesis.

Active in home buyers re more cosmopolitan style and value conscious, convenience oriented and generally are more demanding shoppers than are other consumers. They are more flexible in shopping style, visit stores more frequently and view shopping and shopping risk more positively. Their in home buying is discretionary often impulse or convenience oriented and they use a variety of in home buying methods and sources.

One advertising agency’s lifestyle analysts of direct response purchasers found that those characterized as impulse buyers and those who found it difficult to get to the store were the most attractive . For example of the fifteen product categories in which direct responses sales are significant the impulse shopper ranks above average in nine of them.

Personality characteristics found among in home shoppers indicate that they tend to be more self assured, venturesome, and cosmopolitan in outlook and in shopping behavior.