Close third-level meetings with a hybrid consumer

Maciej Sasin   Sell it in English 6/2019 On-line only

A hybrid consumer, that is a person who buys products at various price levels depending on their needs and priorities - and regardless of their means - is a relatively new concept. How do your needs and expectations translate into the purchase process, and what does this mean for salespeople?

It is increasingly difficult to categorise clients and predict their behaviour. A hybrid customer equipped with knowledge from the Internet is more and more aware of their purchase decisions. Depending on their situation and needs, they may behave in unpredictable ways: sometimes buying premium products, sometimes cheaper alternatives. Discount stores, last minute offers (even last second offers), and outlets are developing highly dynamic formats.

Access to information is one of the causes of the hybridization phenomenon

One of the reasons for the growing phenomenon of hybridisation is access to information, and thus increased customers awareness in terms of choosing optimal purchase channels and products tailored to current needs. Smart, patient customers can wait a long time for an opportunity, setting their phones to notify them if what they’re waiting for becomes available. They have a great understanding of the market and know when to stop buying and wait for a better opportunity. Portals such as Allegro and OLX are useful for them.

If you can’t see the difference, why overpay?

Many customers look for deals even in discount stores. They compare the ingredients of the products on offer, and when they conclude that there’s no difference, they choose cheaper ones. This is the case, for example, with private store brands, which offer the same quality as the premium brands at a lower price. The same is true of Groupon, which offers really high quality products at an affordable price, especially in the context of hotel or restaurant services, thanks to which students can also afford them.

The need to collect experiences

Behind the hybridization of consumer activities are also contemporary cultural patterns. They can be found in advertising slogans advocating an almost epicurean attitude to life, encouraging the nearly limitless celebration of moments and experiences. Let's follow this logic: I can live modestly for a whole year, but for vacation I’ll go somewhere I’ll remember my whole life. Or, in other words: I’ll visit Paris, Rome and Amsterdam, but I’ll get there by hitchhiking, cheap flights, or Bla Bla Car, and I’ll find accommodation on CouchSurfing. When I’m in Paris, I will spend my money on a ticket to the Moulin Rouge or a meal in a Michelin starred restaurant. Such logic, quite twisted, is natural for contemporary experience seekers.

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