Product characteristics and classification help marketers focus their efforts using consumers’ buying behavior. Your business can use these buying habits to design your marketing efforts for a clearly-defined target audience. Types of classification of products include convenience goods, shopping goods, specialty products or unsought goods. Although these classifications are named as types of products, focusing on how your customers buy these goods is equally important as you classify products and develop your marketing campaigns.

Goods for Convenience

Those products your customers buy often and without much thought or planning are classified as convenience goods. Soap, condiments and toothpaste are common examples of convenience goods. Consumers typically make a choice once on their brand preference for these products and repeat that choice over many purchases.

Making your convenience goods available for impulse or emergency purchases can be particularly effective. You will see this marketing tactic in the placement of candy near the cash register of your grocery store for impulse buys. Another version is to place umbrellas, boots or snow shovels near a store exit when sudden weather changes call for them.

Shopping Goods

Buying decisions are detailed considerations of price, quality and value for products classified as shopping goods. Think about the amount of time you put into picking out a clothing purchase, a car or appliances. Compared to the other classifications of consumer products, shopping products are successfully marketed when they are presented as a better buy than your competitors — like presenting better value with higher quality for the price or vice versa.

Products in the shopping goods classification tend to rely on heavy advertising and even trained salespeople to influence consumer choices.

Products Classified as Specialties

Goods in the specialty products classification tend to promote very strong brand identities, often resulting in strong brand loyalty among consumers. Examples include stereos, computers, cameras and the most high-end brands of cars and clothing. While used cars are classified as shopping goods, a brand-new Mercedes is classified as a specialty good.

Buyers for your specialty goods generally spend more time seeking the product they want than on comparing brands or products to make a value decision. Your marketing of specialty goods can be successful by promoting what you have on hand and where your costumers can find it.

Goods Often Unsought

The products classified as unsought goods are those that your consumers do not put much thought into and generally do not have compelling impulse to buy. Examples include batteries or life insurance. Your consumers essentially buy unsought goods when they have to, almost as an inconvenience — rather than the newest, latest, greatest product they can not wait to purchase.

Marketing your unsought goods will likely be most effective with lots of advertising and salespeople promoting the idea of unresolved need for your unsought products.