Stereotypes in online shopping

Consumer Stereotypes

The deeply evolved online consumer marketplace has come a very long way since the mid-2000s. It seems hard to believe that the broad view of financial media still considered selling online as somewhat of a fad back then. Such a notion now seems laughable. There have been three driving forces that transformed the consumer landscape online, firstly home broadband and WiFi replaced dial-up internet, the result being that consumers moved away from slow connections and no longer used a static PC plugged in.

Secondly, devices became ultra-personal, families no longer shared devices, the devices being a mixture of personal laptops and entirely new ubiquitous tablets and smartphones of all kinds. Thirdly, merchant expansion, entertainment and communications. Considering that in the early days of the internet connection at home was generally the primary connection for many people, these days it passively merges with always-on, always with you mobile internet and with superfast speeds enjoying liberal data-volumes. In a very true sense, the internet has become a very personal thing, it is everything for everyone and it’s everywhere.

Fragmented Consumer Tribes

By 2022 the internet is really a gigantic marketplace and workplace composed of tribes of consumers, viewers, gamers, and workers. At work, rest, and play, the internet is a massive part of everyone’s day. Let’s explore some tribes and assign them some stereotypes.

1. Granny Tablets ​

The Granny Tablets are broadly the first generation of older adults who embraced the web 0.1 via PCs and have now retired, often time and asset rich. They know what a green screen is, a dot-matrix printer and fondly recall Nokia phones.

This group has very prominent uses of consumption online, after all, many of these consumers are homeowners with much passive time to use various platforms. Primary weekly shopping for groceries has been strongly adopted in the Granny Tablet tribe, this means that they are a valuable audience for marketeers who can still be reached by legacy media such as TV channels and print media.

There is a surprisingly high engagement of gaming platforms in markets such as the UK where everything from betting, bingo and in-app purchases are consumed. As Facebook, (FB), sees its demographic reach collapse with many consumers under 20 perceiving the platform as no longer very relevant, older consumers use FB, it’s the new Nokia for the greying market.

We can broadly see the market value for this tribe as food, homeware and finance centric consumers. The generation we affectionately label Granny Tablets were the original “early adopters”.

2. Grafters

Transfixed by home prices and trapped in the never-ending world of work, borrow and spend, the tribe of “Grafters” are the superpower superheroes and heroines of the consumer economy. 

As mature adults and prime-homeowners, they are addicted to “property porn”, they are likely the target market for the serious financial sector with secured debt products. 

The Grafters underpin the entire economy, they consume deeply and in the more affluent and high earning levels they consider themselves to be homeowners, whereas they are often as such “debt owners”. 

Nevertheless, they work, borrow, spend and everyone depends on them. The most adept eTailers will be devoting much marketing effort to engaging this tribe. Grafters are the most valuable goldmine for sales, they can buy and borrow without sorrow.

3. Tinderellas

The Tinderellas are very socially active, they use as the name might suggest, Tinder and a vast array of social media platforms. Often dependent on smartphones and MacBooks for absolutely everything, they are dedicated credit-fuelled consumers who do not own TVs, homes or in growing numbers cars.

These consumers are part of the subscription economy, they watch films and listen to music yet own no DVDs or CDs. They might hire a Lime Scooter or catch an Uber rather than drive a Nissan Micra. Indeed, they might well live in more urban dense areas, renting a flat and probably survived the Covid era working from home and doing “Netflix & Chill”, ordering pizza direct to home.

Of the greatest significance, they are probably in semi-permanent relationships, single or see the world of dating and socializing through a secession of swipes and chats. Hence the tribal name “Tinderellas”.

The World Economic Forum who infamously meet in Davos each year use the slogan, “You will own nothing and be happy”. This stereotypical group often owes plenty, it remains to be seen if they will own nothing and we can only hope they will be happy.

4. Niche Nuggets

The Niche Nugget tribe are the “consumer gold dust”. Niche products and services are where high value, loyal and premium consumption can reach very specific targeted consumers who are motivated and willing to spend top dollar. They want the best; they want specific spending needs met. Reaching these extremely high valuable niches is exactly where becomes the turbocharged channel to build pipelines and relationships via video sales.

All products have a pricing factor and with the internet, price comparisons are a natural feature, yet not when you offer a specific product or service.

For example, what if you sell the property of one kind or another, or if you provide one-to-one billable services such as coaching or perhaps sell made-to-measure clothing.

Because we transform digital interaction into a personalized experience once again, conversion of marketed niches is essential, you don’t want to leave a high value lead to “cart abandonment”, this is the name given to incomplete web traffic that for whatever reason fails to buy.

Niches are about “people”, we connect this better than a landing page because people buy from people. The niche tribe are lifestyle buyers, so you want them for a lifetime.

5. TokBloxers

The TokBloxers are connected to the outside world as pure digital natives. They stream music and follow YouTubers loyally buying Merch directly from these powerful influenceable channels.

Vast amounts of leisure time are devoted to TikTok on smartphones as they simultaneously play Roblox, Fortnite or Counterstrike.

They are easy to spot should they actually go outside dressed in hoodies and wearing expensive trainers. Even young teens can tell you the price of Bitcoin at any time of the day or night, they might also consider meat and alcohol as simply something alien, they are just as likely to own MANA cryptocurrency as they are to have a bank account.

The TokBloxers are an immensely important group of consumers who are looking at a world through VR headsets and are a dream for eTailers.

Where once the Tinderellas “hope” they have the world at their feet, the TokBloxers have the Metaverse to explore.

As we wait for this tribe to unleash ever more spending power online, they are proxy spenders of “Grafters” economic resources. Yes, the parents’ pocket power is often the source of this tribe’s consumption spending.

D2C – Direct to Customer

The eTail Market Evolution means one other thing that wipes away the old imagined gender or demographic rules. As the physical world of shops and offices retreat or even worse vanishes, brands and sellers of all kinds no longer even need a physical presence. They can now sell D2C, (Direct to Consumer). All of the above tribes are increasingly drawn to D2C. Let’s give an example from this writer, if I told you I wanted a specific jacket and was willing to pay 4X the price of a comparable version in shop from a unique seller or that I buy ongoing products from a Japanese retailer as they have no physical footprint in Central Europe and that’s worth at thousands of Euros in an average year, D2C makes a highly compelling case. Real people in faraway places brought together is the essence of D2C, we’re sure you see.

Let’s get you up and running for video call shopping,, ready to meet you face-to-face, because video channels bring us together.