Hunters and Gatherers: How eCommerce Search & Discovery Reflects Our Human Nature


Our ancestral tendencies are still ingrained in our shopping habits today While ‘hunters’ want to be immediately connected to the item they want, ‘gatherers’ –casual browsers– are more open to discovering a range of products along the way. Category finders will head to a specific category page, but they are open to view a broader range of relevant SKUs. Find out how to create experiences for both of them. Meet Today’s Hunters and Gatherers

Our ancient ancestors, the hunters, and gatherers, had different methods of obtaining food. At times, depending on where they were located and what kind of wildlife was nearby, they went off to hunt animals. When hunting, success depended on staying focused on the target and acting quickly. At other times, they gathered wild fruits and plants that could provide sustenance.

Although our methods of getting food each day have changed dramatically since that period, the mindsets, and instincts we have when seeking something we want or need remain largely intact. Even when shopping for non-essential items, like a vintage bag, these instincts come into play.

In the world of eCommerce, hunters and gatherers look like this: The mission-driven shopper: These are the “hunters” who know exactly what they want — say, the blue wrap dress they saw their friend wearing last night at dinner. They are already inspired, ready to spend, and don’t want to be disappointed.

The casual browsers: These are the “gatherers.” They are comfortable with a slower pace of product discovery, are open to more finds along the way, and are looking for inspiration.

The category scanner: These are the folks who want a certain type of product, say, new running shoes, but are less specific when it comes to attributes like brand, colour, or style. Think of them as the “more relaxed” […]

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