Discount Club Members' Profiles

Part
01
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Part
01

Discount Club Card Member Demographics

Discount club card members in the United States tend to be older, more affluent, more educated, and more likely to be Hispanic than the average shopper. They tend to be married women who reside in suburban areas and have children.

Age

Gender

Location

  • Discount club card members tend to reside in suburban areas, based on the following insight about Costco shoppers.
  • The majority of Costco shoppers are homeowners who reside in affluent suburban areas. Their homes have space for storing bulk purchases.

Income

Education

  • Discount club card members tend to be well-educated, based on the following insights.
  • Costco shoppers are more likely than the average shopper to have a college degree (101 versus 100) or an advanced degree (128 versus 100).
  • Sam’s Club shoppers are more likely than the average shopper to have an advanced degree (104 versus 100).
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club shoppers are more likely than the average shopper to have an advanced degree (120 versus 100).

Marital Status

  • Discount club card members tend to be married with children, based on the following insights.
  • Costco shoppers are more likely than the average shopper to have kids (108 versus 100).
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club shoppers are more likely than the average shopper to have kids (109 versus 100).
  • The club customer is typically a person with a house and a family.
  • Sam’s Club targets families with children.

Ethnicity

  • Discount club card members are more likely to be Hispanic than the average shopper, based on the following insights.
  • Costco shoppers are more likely than the average shopper to be Asian (288 versus 100) or Hispanic (126 versus 100).
  • Sam’s Club shoppers are more likely than the average shopper to be Caucasian (101 versus 100) or Hispanic (101 versus 100).
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club shoppers are more likely than the average shopper to be African American (111 versus 100) or Hispanic (122 versus 100).

Research Strategy

Even though the demographic profile of discount club card members in the United States is not readily available in the public domain, and members-only discount clubs Costco, Sam’s, and BJ’s do not provide relevant information on their websites, we were able to gather information about the age, gender, location, income, education, marital status, and ethnicity of discount club card members by reading through articles covering these clubs and by reviewing the demographic data that market intelligence provider Numerator offers on these clubs’ shoppers. There is limited information on the gender of discount club card members, so we supplemented this information with a report published in 2013.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Discount Club Card Member Psychographics

Discount club card members in the United States enjoy finding a good bargain or deal. They like the exclusivity and the ‘treasure hunt’ experience that discount club shopping offers. Compared to the average shopper, they buy more items and spend more money per shopping trip.

General Habits

  • Discount club card members are more likely than the average shopper to buy more items per shopping trip, based on the following data about people shopping at members-only discount clubs Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale Club.
  • Discount club card members are compelled to shop more regularly and purchase more items per trip because, for most of them, the membership fee is a sunk cost that needs to be justified.
  • Discount club card members typically visit their discount club on a Saturday or a Sunday, based on the following data.
    • The day of the week that Costco shoppers visit Costco is distributed as follows: Monday (12%), Tuesday (12%), Wednesday (12%), Thursday (13%), Friday (16%), Saturday (19%), and Sunday (17%).
    • The day of the week that Sam’s Club shoppers visit Sam’s Club is distributed as follows: Monday (12%), Tuesday (12%), Wednesday (12%), Thursday (13%), Friday (16%), Saturday (21%), and Sunday (14%).
    • The day of the week that BJ’s Wholesale Club shoppers visit BJ’s is distributed as follows: Monday (12%), Tuesday (11%), Wednesday (12%), Thursday (12%), Friday (16%), Saturday (20%), and Sunday (17%).

Values

  • Discount club card members enjoy finding a good deal and are loyal to their discount club, based on the following information.
  • Costco shoppers love a bargain or a good deal.
  • Costco members are loyal to Costco, as can be seen in Costco’s excellent membership renewal rate of 90%.

Lifestyle

  • Though discount club card members are not likely to hold more than one discount club membership, they are likely to hold an Amazon Prime membership. This suggests that discount club card members use their discount club membership and their Amazon Prime membership for different purposes, and that they likely enjoy privileges such as fast shipping, grocery discounts, and free music and movie streaming.
  • Discount club card members are more likely than the average shopper to visit casual dining retailers, food retailers, health retailers, and liquor retailers, based on the following information.

Attitudes

  • Discount club card members are attracted to the exclusivity and 'treasure hunt' experience that discount club shopping offers, based on the following insights.
  • Some Costco shoppers view shopping at Costco as something akin to a religious experience, while others look at shopping at Costco as some sort of treasure hunt.
  • Discount club members find discount club membership appealing because the membership makes them feel they are a part of something exclusive.

Spending Habits

  • Discount club card members are more likely to spend more money per shopping trip than the average shopper, based on the following information.
  • Discount club card members typically choose the basic or standard membership option, based on the following information.
    • The majority of Costco shoppers avail of the Gold Star membership, which costs $60 per year and unlocks all bargains, while 36% of Costco shoppers avail of the Gold Star Executive membership, which costs $120 per year and offers 2% cash back. Gold Star Executive members, however, account for around 66% of Costco’s sales, meaning they spend far more than Gold Star members on shopping.
  • Discount club card members typically visit their discount club every 1 ½ to 2 months to buy around 8 to 9 items that are worth around $80 to $140 in total, based on the following data.
    • Costco shoppers go shopping at Costco every 43.5 days. They have an average basket size of 8 units totaling $91.22.
    • However, according to Bob Nelson, a senior vice president at Costco, the average amount shoppers at Costco spend per visit is in the $130-$140 range.
    • Sam’s Club shoppers go shopping at Sam's every 48.9 days. They have an average basket size of 7.7 units totaling $85.07.
    • BJ's Warehouse Club shoppers go shopping at BJ's every 56.2 days. They have an average basket size of 8.9 units totaling $79.16.

Media Consumption Habits

  • Discount club card members are likely to visit a deal site or a social network before visiting their club’s website, and they are likely to be attracted to content about news, home, travel, and food, based on the following information.
    • Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club each have a website through which their members can also purchase products. Nearly all visitors to these websites are located in the United States.
    • The clubs’ top referring sites indicate that some of the clubs’ website visitors have visited a deal site such as Dealsea, Deal News, Missy Coupons, Slick Deals, and Groupon before visiting their club’s website.
    • The clubs’ top referring social networks indicate that some of the clubs’ website visitors have visited a social network such as YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook before visiting their club’s website.
    • The clubs’ website visitors are interested in topic categories such as news and media, banking credit and lending, home and garden, groceries, fashion and apparel, and computer electronics and technology. The specific topics that pique their interest include news, home, travel, and food.

Research Strategy

We consulted a variety of sources to determine the general habits, values, lifestyles, attitudes, spending habits, and media consumption habits of discount club card members in the United States. Among them were the websites of members-only discount clubs Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club, the press coverage of these clubs, and the websites of shopper data provider Numerator and web analytics provider SimilarWeb. The sources we found most useful, however, were news articles covering the discount clubs, the Numerator website, and the SimilarWeb website. The media consumption habits could not be located in the public domain, but we were able to gather a number of helpful insights from SimilarWeb about the sites the club members are likely to visit and the topics club members are likely to be interested in.
Sources
Sources