Before you can offer your customer the best service and delivery options you need to know two things. You need to know the shopper type, this correlates with the product category. And you need to know certain characteristics of your products.
Determining product types can be done in two ways. First you can categorize the products in four distinct types of goods. These four categories also determine the shopper type.
- Convenience goods: Goods that shoppers buy on a daily bases. These purchases require minimal effort (e.g. daily groceries). Prices and quality of these goods are almost never compared so the customer engagement is low. These shoppers are also known as passive shoppers. Bread, for example would be a convenience good.
- Preference goods: The shopper developed a preference for these goods (e.g. a brand or particular store). Preference goods are also bought routinely and customer engagement is also low for this category. This kind of shopper is called a calculated shopper. Toothpaste or cola are products some customers buy on general intervals with a particular brand in mind, a preference good.
- Shopping goods: Mostly sustainable goods for which the consumer will do considerable more research. These goods generate a lot more customer engagement because price, quality and other characteristics will be compared. Music systems would be an example of shopping goods.
- Specialty goods: These products have unique characteristics and have a high customer engagement. The customer will gather a lot of information before they make a choice on the product but will already have a brand in mind. A good example would be Rolls Royce.
Besides categorizing you can sort products according to their characteristics, this is mostly helpful for the possibilities of delivery.
- Dimensions and weight: Big and heavy packages make picking up a product harder. Making adjustments to the way a product is packaged makes this easier.
- Conditioned storage and transport: Fresh produce or deep-frozen products can be delivered in specially designed containers. But what happens when the customer is not at home to accept the delivery?
- Installation: Sometimes a product needs to be installed by a specialist.
- Contracts: When a signature is required the contracting party needs to be present.
- Legal requirements: Certain products have special laws concerning delivery (e.g. medicine).
- Packaging material: Some packaging can be returned, recycled or reused.