The idea is that consumers move to being shoppers very quickly and due to new ways of shopping, we need to rethink how we talk about consumers. That today we are experiencing a marriage of consumer and shopper mindsets. There is some truth to this. As technology has changed, people are better able and more quickly move to a shopping phase compared to the past.
Example: I run out of dog food and I open my Amazon mobile app to order the next bag without paying for shipping because I am a Prime member. Fast and easy. I still “consume” dog food, but don’t have to wait till I have time to get to the pet store to buy more. Instead, someone else pulls it from a shelf and makes it land on my doorstep. In fact, the dog food I prefer, I can’t buy at any local pet store. I could even have the dog food on automatic reorder every month so I wouldn’t have to think about it. Does this make me a shopsumer? Or a shopsooner?
When I think about the word without its definition, I think it means a consumer of shopping. But how is this different from the generations of teens that have window-shopped for hours at malls? Are these not consumers of shopping?
Moment of truth: I actually do not like the word consumer. A consumer is someone who buys stuff. The word implies that there is a separate group of people that never buys stuff and is unique from their neighbors. Granted, some people buy as little as possible and there are subsistence cultures that do not buy things in the way others do, but these are the exception rather than the rule.
We are all people that are motivated to buy things as needed or desired. In addition, we have some control over our own scenarios that encourage buying. This is good. As marketers, we should want to know more about the people most interested in our products and services. Knowing more about them helps up communicate in compelling ways.
Shopsumer feels like jargon. Adding a layer of confusion to a fast changing landscape of how people decide they need/want something and ultimately acquire. Instead of creating new, and a bit confusing, language, let’s spend time in helping people find what they are looking for. Deal?