From Browsing to Beyond: The Needs-Adaptive Shopper Journey Model

July 2018 | Shankar, Venkatesh

We propose a theory-based model of the shopper journey, incorporating the rich literature in consumer research and marketing research. We also take into account the evolving retailing landscape, characterized by significant knowledge, lifestyle, technological, and structural changes. With consumer well-being at its core and shopper needs and motivations as the focus, our adaptive shopper journey model contrasts with other existing shopping journey models. After developing our model, we use it to identify 12 shopper journey archetypes representing the paths that consumers commonly follow – archetypes that illustrate the workings and potential applications of the needs-adaptive shopper journey model. We discuss the nature of these archetypes, their relationships with one another, and the psychological states that consumers may experience in these different shopper journeys. We also present exploratory empirical studies assessing the stages of the archetypes and mapping the archetypes onto dimensions of shopping motivations (e.g., buying versus browsing, goal-oriented versus non-goal oriented). Finally, drawing on our proposed needs-adaptive shopper journey model and shopper journey archetypes, we lay out a research agenda to help increase the understanding of shopper behavior in the evolving retailing landscape.



  • Leonard Lee


Journal of Association of Consumer Research