A second type of product is the shopping good, which usually requires a more involved selection process than convenience goods. A consumer usually compares a variety of attributes, including suitability, quality, price, and style. Homogeneous shopping goods are those that are similar in quality but different enough in other attributes (such as price, brand image, or style) to justify a search process. These products might include automobile tires or a stereo or television system. Homogeneous shopping goods are often sold strongly on price.
With heterogeneous shopping goods, product features become more important to the consumer than price. Such is often the case with the purchase of major appliances, clothing, furniture, and high-tech equipment. In this situation, the item purchased must be a certain size or colour and must perform very specific functions that cannot be fulfilled by all items offered by every supplier. With goods of this sort, the seller has to carry a wide assortment to satisfy individual tastes and must have well-trained salespeople to provide both information and advice to consumers.
Specialty goods have particularly unique characteristics and brand identifications for which a significant group of buyers is willing to make a special purchasing effort. Examples include specific brands of fancy products, luxury cars, professional photographic equipment, and high-fashion clothing. For instance, consumers who favour merchandise produced by a certain shoe manufacturer or furniture maker will, if necessary, travel considerable distances in order to purchase that particular brand. In specialty-goods markets, sellers do not encourage comparisons between options; buyers invest time to reach dealers carrying the product desired, and these dealers therefore do not necessarily need to be conveniently located.
Finally, an unsought good is one that a consumer does not know about—or knows about but does not normally think of buying. New products, such as new frozen-food concepts or new smartphones, are unsought until consumers learn about them through word-of-mouth influence or advertising. In addition, the need for unsought goods may not seem urgent to the consumer, and purchase is often deferred. This is frequently the case with life insurance, preventive car maintenance, and cemetery plots. Because of this, unsought goods require significant marketing efforts, and some of the more sophisticated selling techniques have been developed from the challenge to sell unsought goods.