Consumer goods are products which are purchased for personal consumption. Consumer goods are classified into three areas: Convenience goods, shopping goods and speciality goods.
Convenience products are inexpensive frequent purchases, there is little effort needed to purchase them. Examples include fast food, toiletries and confectionery products. Convenience products are split into staples, such as milk, eggs and emergency products which are purchased when the need arises e.g. Umbrellas.
Shopping goods are products that consumers do not buy as frequently as convenience goods. They usually cost more than convenience goods and consumers expect to have them for longer, so they will do some research prior to purchase. The research will include comparing product features and price. Examples of shopping goods include white goods (such as fridge/freezers and washing machines), clothing and furniture.
Speciality goods are products with unique features or branding. Consumers do not compare them with other products as the goods have features unique to them. Instead they will spend time searching for for the place selling the product they want. Consumers are often prepared to travel to purchase their product and pay a premium. Speciality goods include designer clothes, luxury cars, antiques. Professional services provided by a person known for the effectiveness and quality of their work can also come under this category. For example a lawyer or public relations "guru" such as Max Clifford.
It is important for marketers to know what classification their products come under, as the classification determines how consumers behave when they are purchasing their product. Marketing can then be designed around the specific buying behaviour.