Customer Behaviour

The UK is now a nation of ‘Pleasure-Seeker spenders’, according to a new study which identifies five different spending typologies, Pleasure-Seekers, Bargainistas, Impulsives, Tacticians and Traditionalists

More than one in four (27 per cent) class themselves as Pleasure-seekers, more than any other category, according to the research by working with Behavioural Psychologist Jo Hemmings.

Tacticians were identified as the second biggest group at 24 per cent of the population, followed by Traditionalists (23 per cent), Bargainistas (15 per cent) with Impulsives making up the smallest category (11 per cent).

The Pleasure-Seekers group love the thrill of a new purchase and hate coming home empty-handed from a shopping trip. Hitting the high street at least twice week, a true Pleasure-Seeker enjoys the experience as much as the purchase. They tend to be women under the age of 35 who enjoy fashionable, inspiring items, and prefer spending over saving, only putting money in their savings once they have satiated their appetite for a shopping spree.

o   22 per cent of Brits admit they hate coming home empty-handed from a shopping spree

o   One in twenty (five per cent) of Brits state they shop for the thrill of a splurge

o   The South East most embodies the pleasure-seeker mantra; 25 per cent admit they don’t like going home empty handed

o   23 per cent of Brits admit they only save whatever’s left at the end of the month


Making up 24 per cent of the population, this group shops with military precision, only purchasing items when they really need them. They shop rarely but wisely, knowing where to find what they want, and tend to save their disposable income for big one-off purchases, shopping once a month or less. More likely to be men, they are tactical with savings, carefully checking their outgoings and allocating money accordingly.

o   One in 10 Brits (10 per cent) save their disposable income for big, one off purchases

o   13 per cent of men save their disposable income for big purchases, compared to eight per cent of women

o   Those from Yorkshire shop the most tactically, 15 per cent saving up for one-off purchases

o   23 per cent of Brits check their outgoings each month and allocate money to savings accordingly


Making up 23 per cent of the population, Traditionalists are most at home on the high street or at their local butchers, preferring to shop in friendly places once a week. Lead by the over 55s, the group are more likely to be women and tend to be brand-loyal and fans of local, hand-made or natural produce rather than mass market items. They like to mix shopping with socialising, joining friends for coffee or lunch and are regular savers who like to ensure they have money in their account to fall back on.

o   A quarter of the over 55s  (25 per cent) admit they prefer to shop locally

o   Nearly one in 10 (eight per cent) of Brits choose being with friends and family as their favourite thing about shopping.

o   Sociable Welsh are typical Traditionalists, 28 per cent prefer to shop in local stores where they know the owners


Risk aware Bargainistas make up 15 per cent of the UK, budgeting carefully across the month finding bagging a bargain the most satisfying part of shopping. They prefer online shopping, picking up non-essentials a couple of times a month and enjoy the thrill of minding their pennies, knowing they can afford to treat themselves occasionally. Most likely to be in their mid-thirties to forties, they are savvy when it comes to saving, carving out a chunk of their salary each month to ensure they have money put away for a rainy day.

o   24 per cent of Brits find getting their hands on a bargain the most satisfying part of shopping

o   29 per cent love knowing that minding their pennies means they can afford to treat themselves occasionally

o   Women are the savvier sex with 26 per cent getting a kick out of bagging a bargain

o   A fifth of Brits (21 per cent) have a standing order set up to their savings each month


Those in the impulsive category (11 per cent of the population) live by a ‘want-it, buy it’ mantra. Unable to resist the lure of a store, they fritter away their disposable income each month, snapping up things they just have to have. Shopping regularly, they often spend more than they have available and tend to hit the high street at least five times a week. Most likely to be under the age of 24, their erratic attitude to money dictates their approach to saving too, only putting money aside sporadically when they have it.

o   Eight per cent of Brits admit they fritter their money away each month

o   17 per cent of 18-24 year olds hitting the shops at least five times a week

o   Northern Irish lead the way, being more inclined to fritter their money away (15 per cent) than other regions

o   24 per cent of Brits admit to only saving sporadically

Anita Naik, Consumer Editor at, commented, “Studying the nations’ spending habits has revealed some valuable insight into the ways we like to shop and how this differs between the genders and regions. With online shopping now trumping the high street as our favourite retail destination, it’s clear this has impacted our shopping habits over the generations, as younger people tend to shop more often and spend their disposable income as they go.

“Whether you’re a Traditionalist or a Pleasure-Seeking Spender, there are lots of different ways you can streamline your spending and bag those bargains so you can enjoy the shopping experience for less and make your disposable income go further.”

Behavioural Psychologist Jo Hemmings said: “It is no surprise that Brits are now becoming more streamlined in their shopping types, with clear differences between behaviour in both gender and age ranges. With low interest rates often meaning more disposable income, sales throughout the year and the continued rise of online shopping, not only do we have the opportunity to treat ourselves more often, we also have the freedom to express our personalities through our shopping style.”

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