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The Types Of Consumers

Updated on October 22, 2011

What are the different types of consumers? Well the answer to this question might vary depending on the angle you are looking the query from but generally it can be approached from two perspectives. If you are in search of the types of consumers in the ecosystem I would be covering that in another article but In terms of marketing, consumers of goods and services can be divided into two major types and they are as follows

Types Of Consumers

1. Individual consumers

Individual consumers are the types of consumers who purchase goods and services for the sole purpose of individual use. The products are primarily used for personal, family or household use to satisfy a certain need or want that the consumer may be having at a particular point in time. These types of goods used by individual consumers are called consumer goods. Consumer goods can further be divided into the following groups

Types of individual consumer goods

  • Convenience goods, these are types of consumer goods that the buyer buys at his own convenience without much planning or thought. Less effort and time is spent when purchasing these types of goods and are mostly purchased in small quantities or denominations. Examples of convenience goods may include milk, bread, sugar, washing soaps e.t.c.
  • Shopping goods, shopping goods are more complex than the convenience ones because the consumer has to spend some time before he actually purchases the said product. The buyer may move from one shop to another and the process sampling and looking into the available varieties of the product that he intends to purchase. The buyer does not want to be involved in a mistake of purchasing the wrong product and he would be very much careful with his purchase decisions. The goods in question are also of high quality and could be costly. They are not purchased frequently but rather after a certain time elapses from the time of purchase. Examples of shopping goods may include buying such things as a car, laptop, television, house e.t.c.
  • Specialty goods, these are types of consumer goods that the buyer attaches a lot of importance to. The consumer is of the opinion that the products are special in one way or another and they would do everything they can to acquire them . the buyer sees types of goods as unique and special and they will spare no effort or money in order to have them in their possession. They goods may or may not be expensive, durable or perishable but to the buyer it’s something worth it.
  • Durable goods, as the name suggests durable goods are those that have an extended life. They can be continuously used without them getting worn out or becoming expired. Gold can be a good example here.

2. Organizational/industrial consumer

Unlike the individual consumer organizational/industrial consumer does not purchase products for immediate personal use but rather for other uses. Industrial consumers are companies or organizations who themselves engage in the business of buying, selling and aiming at maximizing profits. They purchase goods and services from suppliers in order to use the same materials to manufacture other products which are then offered for sale to the target consumers. Goods and services consumed by industrial consumers are called industrial goods and are grouped into the following types

Types of industrial consumer goods

  • Installations, these are capital goods that aid in the production of goods and services. They are generally complex in nature and as such may not come at a cheap price. Examples may include x-rays in hospitals, computerized surveillance systems used by security companies, construction equipments e.t.c.
  • Accessory equipments, accessories are those goods that aid in carrying out minor tasks and activities of the production process. They are usually less expensive than the installations which make them cheaper. Examples may include computers, calculators e.t.c.
  • Raw materials, raw materials are goods that are unfinished state and that may not serve the intended purpose unless they are further processed. Industrial consumers like manufacturers of goods purchase raw materials from suppliers and process them to make other usable products from them which can then be offered for sale to willing buyers. Examples of raw materials may include crude oil, sugar cane, wood for manufacturing paper, leather, latex e.t.c.
  • Fabricated parts and materials, unlike raw materials, fabricated parts are finished products that aid in the production of another product. They are included in the final product to add more features and functionality to it and make it better in the eyes of the consumer. Examples may include car batteries, iron sheets e.t.c.
  • Industrial supplies, these are goods that used indirectly in the production of other goods and services. They are a sort of expense items that aid in the production process and are bought when they are needed. Examples include ink, stable pins, printing papers, lubrication oils e.t.c.


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