Skip to Content

What's your 'shopping tribe'? Behaviour analysis reveals profiles of the modern customer


Researchers at Brunel University, London, have identified four 'modern shopping tribes' - customer groups defined by analysis of their their shopping behaviour.

The project, commissioned by Barclaycard and conducted by Dr Dorothy Yen and Dr Maged Ali from the Brunel Business School, aimed to better understand modern customer profiling and to identify patterns of spending in different UK regions.

The four tribes identified are:

  • The Bargain Hunter Gatherer: a promiscuous purchaser equipped with vouchers and multiple loyalty cards
  • The High Street Pounder: not afraid of negotiating prices with local shops and straying away from big chains or online shopping
  • The Screen Saver: inhabiting the world of online or mobile shopping
  • The Profit Prophet: super organised purchaser-researcher with fear of last minute sprees

Take the Barclaycard Quiz to find your tribe

The study showed that a third of customers are very promiscuous in their brand choices, while the same number rigidly stick to shopping lists to avoid uncontrolled spending.

Retail expert Dr Yen, Course Director for the MSc Marketing in the Business School, said: “It’s been fascinating to look at how modern life and the economic climate have impacted on our shopping habits. As a nation, we’ve evolved into incredibly sophisticated shopping experts. Some of us are clearly savvier than others, but with the wealth of deals and loyalty incentives out there, we’ve all developed a system that works for us.

"What was particularly interesting for us was the clear emergence of four very specific shopping ‘tribes’ who encompass the key consumer attributes most prevalent at the checkout – real or virtual – today.”

The project was based on analysis of Barclaycard spending data and consumer research carried by YouGov between 27–29 August 2013 with a total sample of 2,018 British adults online.