Types Of Consumer Goods

Consumer Goods are final goods that are brought from retail stores to satify the needs and wants of human being. The consumer goods come in wide variety of product range includes:

  • Household Items
  • Personal Care Products
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Utensils
  • Nano Technology Devices
  • Foods
  • Clothing Products
  • Stationary
  • Gift Articles

Types of Consumer Goods

Buying habits such as convenience goods, shopping goods, and specialty goods and Durability such durable goods, semi-durable goods, and non-durable goods.

Convenience Goods:

Goods which are easily available to consumer, without any extra effort are convenience goods. Mostly, convenience goods come in the category of nondurable goods such as like fast foods, confectionaries, and cigarettes, with low value. The goods are mostly sold by wholesalers to make them available to the consumers in good volume. Further, convenience goods can be sub-categorized into:

  • Staple Convenience Consumer Goods
  • Impulse Convenience Consumer Goods
  • Shopping Consumer Goods
  • Specialty Consumer Goods
  • Non Sought Consumer Goods
  • Durable Consumer Goods
  • Non Durable Consumer Goods

Staple Convenience Consumer Goods:

Staple convenience consumer goods are those goods which are available to the consumer without putting much effort. Mostly, these products are basic needs of a consumer and one can find them in a large amount in market and shops. Examples of such goods are milk, bread, sugar, salt, eggs, newspaper, candy etc.

Staple convenience consumer goods are mostly non-durable and the consumer purchases them frequently, but in a small quantity. Generally, while purchasing these goods, the consumer does not take much time, buying decision is made quickly and one does not involve his/her emotions while buying these goods or products.

Staple convenience consumer goods are said to be goods of impulse and habit. They are not so expensive and most of the consumer can buy them easily.

Goods which come under the basic demands of human beings are called staple convenience goods. For eg: milk, bread, sugar etc.

Impulse Convenience Consumer Goods:

Goods which are brought without any prior planning or which are brought impulsively are called impulse convenience goods. For eg: potato wafers, candies, ice creams, cold drinks etc.

Impulse Convenience Consumer Goods are those goods for which a consumer does not have any prior plan. They are unplanned and not in the priority list of the consumer. Unplanned buying behavior is known as ‘impulse buying’.

Examples of such products are Ice creams, cold drinks, potato wafers, candies, magazines etc.

A consumer may do suggestion buying or reminder buying for this kind of purchases. He or she may remember a friend’s suggestion, to buy a product, earlier and while seeing the product in market decide suddenly to buy the same.

These products are mostly inexpensive and consumers from a standard financial background can purchase them. As they are not in the priority list, consumers with a good balance in pocket choose to buy them. 

Shopping Consumer Goods:

Shopping consumer goods are those higher end products which a consumer buys to use them. Shopping goods are of two types viz. Homogeneous goods and Heterogeneous goods.

Homogeneous shopping consumer goods are those which serve the same purpose and only differ in terms of price. The consumer does not care where the products came from and who produced them. However, there are certain features the consumer looks in these products such as Unique Selling Price or USP. This USP plays a vital role in finalizing the consumer's buying decision. More the USP of the product more is it's demand in market.

For example: Potato, milk etc. These goods are same everywhere and only the price makes the difference. Goods such as TV, DVD player, refrigerator, cupboard etc. are some of other examples of this type of homogeneous products.

But heterogeneous products affect the consumer in terms of quality, features, appropriateness, durability, price etc. In other words, while in case of homogeneous products, the product features vary, in case of heterogeneous products, the product itself changes. Before purchasing them the consumer has a prior plan for this and he may travel a distance to buy them. He may take more time to choose from a wide range of products. For example: Consumers can easily find differences between a Ford Mustang and a Chevrolet Camero. Though both are cars and perform the same function, their features are different. And factors such as publicity, brand trustworthiness, image, and outer fashion affects the buying decision of a consumer.    

In shopping consumer goods, consumer do lot of selection and comparison based on various parameters such as cost, brand, style, comfort etc, before buying an item. They are costlier than convenience goods and are durable nature. Consumer goods companies usually try to set up their shops and show rooms in active shopping area to attract customer attention and their main focus is to do lots of advertising and marketing to become popular.

Goods like

  • Clothing Items
  • Televisions
  • Radio
  • Foot Wears
  • Home Furnishing
  • Jewelleries

All these come under the category of shopping goods.

Specialty Consumer Goods:

Goods which are very unique, unusual, and luxurious in nature are called specialty goods. Specialty goods are mostly purchased by upper-class of society as they are expensive in nature. The goods don't come under the category of necessity rather they are purchased on the basis personal preference or desire. Brand name and unique and special features of an item are major attributes which attract customer attraction in buying them.

  • Examples of Specialty Products are:
    • Antiques
    • jewelry
    • wedding dresses
    • cars

Specialty consumer goods are considered unique because consumers can go to a great length to buy these products. The location of the store selling specialty consumer goods does not need to be convenient. The sellers of specialty goods do not emphasize on comparison because consumers have already decided what product they want to purchase.

Profit margin of these goods is high. Consumers do not care paying higher price for these products rather they choose them for quality, style, dearth and personal preference.  While some of these products are convenience goods for some consumers for some they are specialty goods.

Examples of these products are: expensive watches, perfumes, men’s suits, women’s bags, wedding gowns, diamonds etc.

These products may be bought once or fewer times in a lifetime.

Non Sought Consumer Goods:

Goods or Services like insurance which are available in the market but customer is not really interested in buying them are called non-sought goods.

Normally, people are not aware of unsought consumer goods or they are not interested in buying those products. That is the reason heavy marketing strategies, aggressive and determined selling approach is required to convert it into a sought product.  

Another drawback of these products is consumers are not able to get any immediate benefit of these products.

Examples of unsought consumer goods are Life Insurance, Accident Insurance, Prepaid Funeral plans, and Disability insurance, new and innovative products when they first come to market etc.

These products are bought due to fear of hazard. And they are not purchased willingly.

Durable Consumer Goods:

Durable consumer goods last for a long time not less than three years. It is not worn out or consumed in a little span of time. Consumer does not buy them frequently as they last long.

Examples of durable goods are Automobiles, ornaments, sporting goods, Electronic goods such as washing machine, Fan, TV etc. and possessions like trucks, ships, aircrafts etc. Sometimes non durables products also become durable ones. People use some pieces of cloth for more than three years.

As durable goods are considered to be big-ticket items, consumers as well as businesses buy these goods when they are financially comfortable and can afford these items.

When economy slows down, the demand for durable goods decreases. So be careful while investing in companies which manufacture durable goods.

One can know about industrial condition by going through orders fro durable consumer goods. Census bureau’s monthly report ‘Durable Goods Orders’ plays a vital role in indicating economic situation of the country.

Goods which have long life span and usage period are called durable goods.

  • Examples:
    • Furniture
    • Kitchenware
    • Consumer Electronics

Semi-Durable Consumer Goods:

Goods which have limited life span or usage period are called semi-durable goods.

  • Examples:
    • Clothes
    • Foot Wears
    • Artificial Jewellery
    • Home Furnishing

Non Durable Consumer Goods:

Non durable goods are bought in little amount frequently as they do not last long. They have a lifetime ranging from few minutes to three years. These products are also called soft goods. Fast Moving Consumer Goods such as food, beverages, clothes, medicine, office stationeries, cosmetics, personal care products etc. are examples of non durable goods.

For example a washing machine is a durable good but the detergent used to wash clothes is a non durable good.

Where durable goods can be bought for investment purpose, non durable goods are purchased to be consumed. They can not be rented or the buyer can not use them for investment.

Goods have a very short life span and are perishable in nature are called non-durable goods.

  • Examples:
    • Milk
    • Bread