Who are Hedonic Shoppers and How to Engage Them and Extend the Relationship?

Who are Hedonic Shoppers and How to Engage Them and Extend the Relationship
A large number of retailers have experienced a shift in the marketplace. The retail marketplace, both online and offline retailers have experienced a massive change and it is no longer sufficient to entice the customers by providing low pricing, discounts, wide assortment of products, etc. More and more retailers as well as ‘Etailers’ are recognizing the need to make the shopping experience entertaining to overcome the immense competition.

According to Baymard Institute, 67.89 percent shopping carts get abandoned. Most people believe that the shopping carts get abandoned due to poorly optimized carts or lengthy checkout processes, but you will be amazed to know there are many other reasons why shopping carts get abandoned. Moreover, the shopping cart abandonment rate increases due to the rise of a group of shoppers known as the ‘Hedonic Shoppers’.

Who are Hedonic Shoppers?

According to research performed to determine the types of shopping motivations, the shoppers can be divided into two categories – Utilitarian and Hedonic.

  • Hedonic shopping is mostly driven by entertainment and emotion. Hedonic values of a shopper are more subjective and personal and they are motivated by fun or playfulness of shopping experiences.
  • Utilitarian shopping is more goal-oriented and rational. Utilitarian shoppers are efficient shoppers who know what exactly they need. They are more concerned about meeting daily needs, seeking more variety, greater value, quality and looking for best prices.

Hedonic shoppers are more impulsive than the utilitarian shoppers. Although it might seem that the hedonic shoppers spend more on shopping, as compared to the utilitarian shopper, the shopping cart abandonment rates are higher as well (in case of hedonic shopping). So it has become increasingly important for the online retailers to adapt to this shift in shopping habits and optimize the shopping experience to incorporate fun, entertainment, excitement elements to satisfy both utilitarian as well as the hedonic shoppers.

For instance, Amazon is a great example of an online retailer that has diversified the shopping experience to satisfy both utilitarian and hedonic shoppers. Amazon is no longer focused on selling books only (utilitarian); it offers anything and everything a customer can look for (hedonic).

A study named, “Hedonic shopping motivations”, by Mark Arnold and Kristy Reynolds, revealed the hedonic reasons people go shopping and they came up with six major categories of hedonic shopping motivations:

  1. Adventure shopping – Driven by stimulation and excitement.
  2. Gratification shopping – To enhance one’s mood.
  3. Social shopping – Offers pleasure of interacting with others.
  4. Idea shopping – To stay updated with the latest trends.
  5. Role shopping – Offers pleasure from buying for others.
  6. Value shopping – Feel the excitement of finding deals (not necessarily make use of the deals found).

The immediate thought would be – how do I know what the motives of my visitors are. Google analytics and other analytics tools provide us with lots of information about your customers and their behavior, but there is no data about their motivations. Why did a visitor come to your website, what exactly made them abandon the shopping cart or how you can influence the customer’s motives to help them complete the purchase cycle.

You will have to get an idea of the motives by looking at the products you deal with. For instance, if you offer luxurious products such as jewelries or designer clothing, chances are a large portion of your audience has hedonic motives. One effective way to identify the motives is to create opinion polls or a short questionnaire. Remember the questions must be simple and to the point, otherwise your audience might abandon it as well.

So do you have to live with the fact that people would come and abandon carts and there is nothing you can do? Not really! It is true that no matter how good your website is in terms of shopping experience and functionality, the hedonic shoppers can abandon the carts anytime, but you can do things to convert them into customers as well.

Have a look at this:

70 – 95 percent of the first-time visitors who abandon a page without performing a desired action (including those who abandon carts), do not give up the idea of returning to the website to perform the intended action.

Again, 75 percent of customers who abandon the carts intend to return to the website to complete the purchase process – according to SeeWhy. As a matter of fact, about 11 – 29 percent of them return within 4 weeks.

visitors who abandon a page

This means, there is a fair percentage of people among the cart abandoners, who can be converted into customers. But how? Keep reading to know more.

Improving Your Relationship with Hedonic Shoppers

The next obvious question is – how to engage hedonic shoppers and convert them into customers. To achieve this goal, you have to:

  • Get a point of contact – e-mail address, social profile, etc.
  • Get back to the hedonic audience to promote your products and services through triggered mails.
  • Optimize the shopping experience to include more fun and entertaining elements.

Now let’s get into the details of each strategy.

E-mail

Have a look at the following statistics:

  • 77 percent of customers prefer to receive marketing messages via e-mail – MarketingLand
  • 80 percent of online retailers fail to get back to the cart abandoner by sending triggered e-mails – BizReport
  • Almost 78 percent of marketers have been able to achieve good to excellent results by triggering cart abandonment e-mails – Exacttarget

So if you are not triggering e-mails to the cart abandoners, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities. By sending e-mails, you engage the hedonic shoppers and create a strong relationship with them. Tell them that you will do everything to make the shopping experience even more exciting, incorporate new ideas and improve the overall value of your website.

Engagement that works wonders for utilitarian shoppers might not be enough to allure the hedonic shoppers. To allure this segment, you need to be more creative. To help marketers understand how to engage the hedonic shoppers better, let’s take a look at the six factors of customer engagement and then at the drivers for the various categories of hedonic motivations.

Six factors of customer engagement

  1. Focused attention
  2. Perceived usability
  3. Endurability
  4. Novelty
  5. Aesthetics and
  6. Felt involvement

Drivers for the hedonic audiences

  • Adventure shoppers are driven by the aesthetics of the website. Offer these people with a fun shopping experience to convert them into customers. By providing them with certain level of thrill, you can entice them to come back to your site.
  • Gratification shoppers are driven by the aesthetics and felt involvement. Make the gratification shoppers feel better while they perform shopping and build a strong relationship with your customers to persuade them to come back to you again and again.
  • Social shoppers are driven by the felt involvement. Creating a perfect set up for the social shoppers might be difficult, since these people love to be in company of their friends and family, but by engaging them in innovative ways, you can retain the social shoppers on your website.
  • Idea shoppers get driven by novelty. In order to allure this segment of hedonic shoppers, you must ensure that the website is up-to-date with the latesttrends and keeps the visitors updated about the latest trends as well. Show your creative side to entice the idea shoppers.
  • Role shoppers are driven by felt involvement.
  • Value shoppers get driven by novelty and the felt involvement. This segment of people is perfect for e-mail campaigns. Take the example of Groupon. They created their websites to keep the value shoppers on their toe by promising to provide them with attractive deals every day. So create a strong e-mail strategy to win the hearts of the value shoppers.

Groupon

So in order to reach out to all classes of the hedonic shoppers, you must do everything to enhance your e-mail lists. Here is how you can build an extensive e-mail list:

  • Create impressive landing pages: Build an impressive and optimized landing page that compels the visitors, both hedonic and utilitarian, to sign up by entering their e-mail addresses.
  • A highly optimized sign-up form: Design a sign-up form that allures the visitors to subscribe by promising to offer value in return.
  • Exit-intent Technology: This is an advanced technology that detects the mouse movement of a particular user to detect abandonment. The moment the user intends to abandon the cart, an exit overlay is activated that offers high-level engagement for the user, in order to hold them back.

By engaging the hedonic shoppers and establishing a relation with them, you can increase the conversion rate and sales for your online store. However, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. You will have to put in a lot of effort to understand what the hedonic shoppers are exactly looking for and optimize the shopping experience accordingly.

Let’s take a quick look at what has been discussed till now:

  • Hedonic shoppers make a large portion of shopping cart abandoners
  • Shopping carts are not abandoned only due to poorly optimized shopping carts or check-out processes.
  • Instead of frowning over the cart abandonment numbers, take each abandonment as a new opportunity.
  • Create a list of cart abandoners, using the latest technologies like exit-intent technologies, landing pages, etc. to reach out to the hedonic audience and convert them into potential customers.
  • Optimize your website to incorporate fun, excitement and entertainment to allure the hedonic shoppers.
  • Try to offer the best possible engagement for your visitors.

Conclusion

The shopping habits have changed drastically over the decade and it is necessary for the online retailers to adapt to this change to survive the immense competition. Remember, website visitors have different motives to visit your website that range from emotional to rational. So in order to entice visitors from all segments (utilitarian and hedonic), you must create a blend of user-friendliness, functionality and features that evoke emotions that persuade the customers to complete the purchase cycle.

Thus, instead of trying to reduce the shopping cart abandonment rates, try to engage users and encourage them to buy products.

Image Source: (1, 2, 3)

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