Consumer markets can be broadly classified into three categories: durables, services and grocery products. Products within each category are marketed indirectly to large numbers of consumers. Thus, the marketing mix for such products needs to address particular market segments in order to be effective. However, since buying a durable product (e.g. a refrigerator) or a service (e.g. a holiday) is fundamentally a different process from shopping in the supermarket for detergents or breakfast cereals, the marketing practices associated with these products will differ significantly. As an illustration, refrigerators and holidays are only bought infrequently and represent a significant household purchase. As a consequence, consumers will seek out information about these products and make careful comparisons of alternatives before commitment. In contrast, goods from the supermarket quickly become accepted or rejected by consumers in their day-to-day buying routines. They are low-cost items and are dependent upon repeat purchase to remain viable in the market.
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