The category retailers serve will impact which buying triggers are relevant to their growth strategy. For example, in the Dishwashers category in Germany, most sales are triggered by the functional requirement to replace a broken machine, though where purchases are more discretionary (upgrading, or buying your first or an additional machine), home moves and redecoration/renovation are key motivators. Meanwhile, in fashion, we find that triggers and reasons spread across a much wider range of emotional desires (e.g. want to find a bargain, want to treat myself), along with more functional needs (e.g. need a new outfit, clothes for a holiday).
Depending on their category, retailers may find value in building up a thorough understanding of which products typically drive the most revenue and profit — this provides context for focusing research into identifying consumer purchase triggers and needs. To be efficient, retailers should focus initially on the products they can deliver well, but which also drive significant revenue in their category. They can then expand into other products in their portfolio. This would be especially relevant in home furnishings, for example, where marketing often focuses on specific products and rooms in the home. Here, knowing the specific products that drive consumers to visit the physical or ecommerce stores can help determine where to focus efforts when designing a questionnaire to uncover key purchase triggers.
This deeper understanding of how consumer needs and behaviors differ depending on context, and what drives choices within specific moments of consumption, will help retailers optimize their product range so it is relevant in the context of key shopper triggers and missions, and will help uncover hard-to-find whitespaces. It also broadens the range of opportunities retailers have to target consumers in these moments, with better messaging and products, and more innovative ideas.