A recent study from ad agency Leo Burnett and its digital arm ARC Worldwide reveals new data on what the social customer really wants from his or her shopping experience.

Specifically, the study, entitled SocialShop, identifies six shopper archtypes:

  • Savvy Passionista – These people are social trendsetter and influence other’s shopping behavior. They stay in the know and express their opinions to others via social networks.
  • Opportunistic Adventurer – She is your impulse shopper always on the hunt for great deals. The folks at Groupon love her because looks for the unexpected.
  • Quality Devotee – It’s all about finding the best product available, and this shopper will spare no time or expense to achieve that goal.
  • Strategic Saver – This person is a comparison shopper and will dig for deals.
  • Efficient Sprinter – Saving time is the modus operandi for this shopper. As long as social media assists in that way, he will use it.
  • Dollar Defaulter - This shopper has a single quest: find the cheapest deals around. Brand loyalty is not a factor where she is concerned.

Leo Burnett suggest several ways brands can appeal to the buying behaviors of each of these archetypes:

  • Help consumers discover and connect, and use a variety of social networks in the process.
  • Invest to “to good to pass up” deals on daily deal sites and through geo-location mobile apps such as Shopkick.
  • Help shoppers build knowledge by providing online ratings and reviews, blogs, forums and YouTube.
  • Provide a curated list of top selling products on the brand website and within social media.
  • Broadcast special deals on retailer websites.

What drives each of these six types of social shoppers says Leo Burnett? Indulgence (Savvy Passionista), Impluse (Opportunistic Adventurer), Information (Quality Devotee, Strategic Saver), and Utility (Efficient Sprinter, Dollar Defaulter). The better brands are at appealing to each of these drivers, the more meaningful their social media engagement efforts will be.

Understanding how and why people shop using social media is key to maximizing its value from a commerce perspective. It’s the same idea SCT Editor Paul Marsden fostered in 2009 with his post on social psychology - How Social Commerce Works: The Social Psychology of Social Shopping - and is worth a quick review.

Six Types of Social Shopper