Forty years ago, a marketing researcher named Edward Tauber set out to learn why people shop. His investigation led to a seminal article, “Why Do People Shop?” that has influenced marketers and retailers ever since.
Recently, the Minneapolis agency Little & Co. set out to see if Tauber’s conclusions remain valid in a society gone digital. As it turns out, the world may have changed a great deal in 40 years — but shoppers haven’t.
“A lot of the motivations from 40 years ago haven’t changed dramatically. But the expectations of how those motivations are met have changed dramatically,” said Mary Haugh, vice president of strategy and account management at Little.
Building on Tauber’s work, Little identified six categories of shoppers (load this PDF), each one seeking a different experience from her shopping trip.