Examining the Three Heaviest Spending Retail Shoppers


In our latest research report, we identified the segments that compose the three heaviest spending department store shoppers and the unique characteristics that define them. This research goes beyond simple demographic data and looks at observed shopping behaviors to provide an in-depth profile on each Heavy Spender.

Forty-percent of customers account for 80 percent of purchases at department stores. For retailers, these Heavy Spenders are the Holy Grail of shoppers. Understanding who they are, and how they shop, is key to marketing to them as these shoppers appear to defy the traditional demographics (e.g. women aged 18-25) that marketers have become accustomed to using in targeting. Instead, they’re made up of a diverse group of individuals who are united by their shopping behavior and preferences.

While they represent just 6 percent of overall customers, “Digital Introverts” account for roughly 16 percent of spending at department stores and spend nearly three-times more than the average department store buyer. Overall, they spend the most amongst all shoppers: spending around $665 in the last three months of the year.  Yet, nothing about their age or gender is a clue to their identities.

True to their names, what’s interesting about this segment is that they don’t actually enjoy shopping in stores. Instead, they opt for digital shopping channels, placing a high-priority on the cross-channel experience and making heavily researched purchases.

“Dads” are the second heaviest spenders, shelling out an average of $617 at department stores in the same timeframe. While this group can also be defined as parents, a cluster whose primary shopping concern is their children, research from Viant found that this group skews male, with 61 percent male compared to 39 percent female. Not only do they prefer social shopping experiences with family and friends, they also plan in advance, relying heavily on online research and over-indexing on mobile devices.

“Convenience Shoppers” round out the Heaviest Spender category, shelling out an average of $576 in the last 3 months of the year. They expect easy parking and short check-out lines. They also value well-organized merchandise, store location, available clothes sizes and a convenient return policy. These shoppers tend to skew 67 percent female and spend twice as much as the average consumer.

While all this data might sound great and insightful, for marketers and retailers alike, the underlying value must be seen in the need to target high-value consumers using data that is much more rich and detailed than traditional demographic data.

Retailers looking for further insight should also mine their CRM data and take the extra effort and recognize that they have different personality types and values amongst their heaviest-spending customers. CRM data can drive your digital advertising plans and enable you to match CRM data back to known users at scale on the internet, mobile media and TV.

By knowing the unique values of each customer segment, retailers can create better informed messaging strategies that engage with their top spending segments. For example, you’ll likely not be able to reach a digital introvert with a mailed flyer.  Don’t rely on your gut. Have your data scientist run an analysis on your data sets and let the math guide your segmentation.

Learn more in Viant’s new White Paper: Examining the Three Heaviest Spending Retail Shoppers.

  • #advertising
  • #CRM
  • #cross device
  • #first party data
  • #people-based advertising
  • #retail
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