Introduction: The classification of goods (physical products) is essential to business because it provides a basis for determining the strategies needed to move them through the marketing system. The two main forms of classifications are consumer goods and industrial goods. We are interested in this paper to elaborate more on Consumer Goods Classification only. Consumer Goods: Consumer goods are defined as goods that are bought from retail stores for personal, family, or household use. Or, they can also be defined as: Products intended for use or consumption by individuals, as opposed to organizations, companies or businesses.
Consumer goods are generally divided into subcategories according to the method by which they are purchased or on the basis of consumer buying habits into: Convenience Goods, Shopping Goods, Exclusive or Specialty Goods, and Non Sought Goods. Consumer goods can also be differentiated on the basis of durability. Durable goods are products that have a long life, such as furniture and garden tools. Nondurable goods are those that are quickly used up, or worn out, or that become outdated, such as food, school supplies, and disposable cameras.
Convenience goods are items that buyers want to buy with the least amount of effort, that is, as conveniently as possible. Most are nondurable goods of low value that are frequently purchased in small quantities. Or they can be defined as those goods purchased with a minimum of effort, because the buyer has knowledge of product characteristics prior to shopping. The consumer does not want to search for additional information (because the item has been bought before) and will accept a substitute rather than have to frequent more than one store.
These goods can be further divided into two subcategories: staple, impulse & emergency goods. Staple convenience goods are basic items that buyers plan to buy before they enter a store, and include milk, bread, and toilet paper. Impulse items are other convenience goods that are purchased without prior planning, such as candy bars, soft drinks, and tabloid newspapers. Emergency goods are items purchased out of urgent need, such as an umbrella during a rainstorm, a tire to replace a flat, or aspirin for a headache.
Since convenience goods are not actually sought out by consumers, producers attempt to get as wide a distribution as possible through wholesalers. To extend the distribution, these items are also frequently made available through vending machines in offices, factories, schools, and other settings. Within stores, they are placed at checkout stands and other high-traffic areas. Convenience goods need intensive distribution. The product has to be in millions of outlets. We must think of how many places we can purchase a newspaper or a cup of coffee.
Many convenience goods are sold in vending machines to increase the number of outlets. For example, products sold in vending machines include newspapers, coffee, soda, and candy Shopping Goods: Shopping goods are purchased only after the buyer compares the products of more than one store or looks at more than one assortment of goods before making a deliberate buying decision. These goods are usually of higher value than convenience goods, bought infrequently, and are durable. Price, quality, style, and color are typically factors in the buying decision.
Televisions, computers, lawnmowers, bedding, and camping equipment are all examples of shopping goods. Or they can be defined as those goods for which consumers lack sufficient information about product alternatives and their attributes, and therefore must acquire further knowledge in order to make a purchase decision. The two major kinds of shopping goods are attribute-based and price-based. For attribute-based shopping goods, consumers get information about and then evaluate product features, warranty, performance, options, and other factors. The good with the best combination of attributes is purchased.
Sony electronics and Calvin Klein clothes are marketed as attribute-based shopping goods. For price-based shopping goods, consumers judge product attributes to be similar and look around for the least expensive item/store. Consumers will exert effort in searching for information, because shopping goods are bought infrequently. Hyundai Automobile and store-brand clothes are marketed as price-based shopping goods. Because customers are going to shop for these goods, a fundamental strategy in establishing stores that specialize in them is to locate near similar stores in active shopping areas, in other words, shopping goods equire selective distribution. Ongoing strategies for marketing shopping goods include the heavy use of advertising in local media, including newspapers, radio, and television. Advertising for shopping goods is often done cooperatively with the manufacturers of the goods. Specialty Goods: Specialty goods are items that are unique or unusual—at least in the mind of the buyer. Buyers know exactly what they want and are willing to exert considerable effort to obtain it. These goods are usually, but not necessarily, of high value, and they may or may not be durable goods.
They differ from shopping goods primarily because price is not the chief consideration. Often the attributes that make them unique are brand preference (e. g. , a certain make of automobile) or personal preference (e. g. , a food dish prepared in a specific way). Other items that fall into this category are wedding dresses, antiques, fine jewelry, and golf clubs. They can also be defined as those goods to which consumers are brand loyal. They are fully aware of these products and their attributes prior to making a purchase decision.
They are willing to make a significant purchase effort to acquire the brand desired and will pay a higher price than competitive products, if necessary. For specialty goods, consumers will not make purchases if their brand is not available. Substitutes are not acceptable. Producers and distributors of specialty goods prefer to place their goods only in selected retail outlets, in other words, specialty goods require exclusive distribution. These outlets are chosen on the basis of their willingness and ability to provide a high level of advertising and personal selling for the product.
Consistency of image between the product and the store is also a factor in selecting outlets. Conclusion: The distinction among convenience, shopping, and specialty goods is not always clear. As noted earlier, these classifications are based on consumers’ buying habits. Consequently, a given item may be a convenience good for one person, a shopping good for another and a specialty good for a third. For example, for a person who does not want to spend time shopping, buying a pair of shoes might be a convenience purchase.
In contrast, another person might buy shoes only after considerable thought and comparison: in this instance, the shoes are a shopping good. Still another individual who perhaps prefers a certain brand or has an unusual size will buy individual shoes only from a specific retail location; for this buyer, the shoes are a specialty good. References: •http://academic. brooklyn. cuny. edu •http://www. marketing. org. au •http://www. studymarketing. org •http://www. answers. com •http://www. learnmarketing. net •http://en. mimi. hu/marketingweb
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