Shopping Products

Shopping Products

Convenience goods are those that require little effort on the part of the buyer, while shopping goods require research and comparison.


Discuss the characteristics of shopping products as a specific type of product


Key Points

  • Since little planning or effort goes into buying convenience goods, markets need to establish a high level of brand awareness and recognition.
  • Since shopping goods are highly researched, and product information is evaluated by buyers, a retailer ‘s ability to differentiate themselves becomes important.
  • With shopping goods, retailers attempt to provide strong promotions to sway the buyer. They also expect strong support from manufacturers.

Key Terms

  • shopping good: goods that consumers will want to be able to compare and contrast with others before they make a purchasing decision.
  • convenience good: a good that requires a minimum amount of effort on the part of the consumer.

Classification of Consumer Goods: Convenience, Shopping and Specialty goods

A classification long used in marketing separates products targeted at consumers into three groups: convenience, shopping, and specialty. In this section, we will differentiate between convenience and shopping goods. Specialty goods will be discussed in the next section.

A convenience good is one that requires a minimum amount of effort on the part of the consumer. Extensive distribution is the primary marketing strategy. The product must be available in every conceivable outlet and must be easily accessible in these outlets. Vending machines typically dispense convenience goods. These products are usually of low unit value, are highly standardized, and are frequently nationally advertised. Yet, the key is to convince resellers, i.e. wholesalers and retailers, to carry the product. If the product is not available when, where, and in a form desirable by the consumer, the convenience product will fail.

From the consumer’s perspective, little time, planning, or effort go into buying convenience goods. Consequently, marketers must establish a high level of brand awareness and recognition. This is accomplished through extensive mass advertising, sales promotion devices such as coupons and point-of-purchase displays, and effective packaging. The fact that many of our product purchases are often on impulse is evidence that these strategies work.

Availability is also important. Consumers expect a wide spectrum of products to be conveniently located at their local supermarkets, ranging from packaged goods used daily, such as bread and soft drinks, to products purchased rarely or in an emergency such as snow shovels, carpet cleaners, and flowers.

In contrast, shopping goods are items that consumers want to be able to compare and contrast with others before they make a purchasing decision. Automobiles, appliances, furniture, and homes are in this group. Shoppers are willing to go to some lengths to compare quality by setting an criteria to judge the product’s specifications, usage, price, and value. Shopping goods do not necessarily have to be distributed widely. Although many shopping goods are nationally advertised, often it is the ability of the retailer to differentiate itself that creates the sale. The differentiation could be equated with a strong brand name, such as Sears Roebuck or Marshall Field, effective merchandising, aggressive personal selling, or the availability of credit.

Discounting, or promotional price-cutting, is a characteristic of many shopping goods because of retailers’ desire to provide attractive shopping values. In the end, product turnover is slower, and retailers have a great deal of their capital tied-up in inventory. This, combined with the necessity to price discount and provide exceptional service means that retailers expect strong support from manufacturers with shopping goods.


Buying a Car: Most buyers invest a lot of time and effort into choosing the right car for them.

An example of a shopping good is a car. Many buyers conduct extensive research into buying a car. Examples of questions that the buyer will ask themselves include: do I want to buy a new or a used car? What is my maximum budget? Do I want an SUV or not? What brand has the best safety features? Which car is fastest? Which has the most storage space? Which has the best service? Which car looks best? There is an entire industry built around helping buyers decide what car is best for them.