According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Consumer View report, today’s consumers (in the US) increasingly prioritise convenience when it comes to purchases, and expect retailers to continue to offer innovative ways to save them time and effort.
“Time is a precious commodity for today’s consumers,” said Mark Mathews, vice president for research development and industry analysis, NRF. “Shoppers are busier with commuting to work, dealing with family obligations or catching up on schoolwork, among other things. Naturally, convenience factors are playing a larger role in their shopping experience.”
The report reveals that 83% of consumers say convenience while shopping is more important to them now compared with five years ago. While consumers opt for quality and price in purchasing decisions, convenience offers retailers a competitive advantage. The report found 97% of respondents have backed out of a purchase because it was inconvenient for them.
The popularity of delivery services like Amazon Prime, Shipt or Instacart reinforce consumers’ willingness to pay – often at a premium – for convenience. Sixty-six percent of shoppers pay for at least one type of delivery service, and one-quarter say they pay for multiple delivery services.
The report also found that how consumers are shopping and where they are in the purchase process can dictate how much convenience matters. For example, 38% said that for online shopping, convenience matters most during the beginning of the shopping experience when consumers are researching products and trying to determine which option is best for them. Alternatively, 40% of in-store shoppers said checkout is when convenience is most important. Additionally, consumers prioritise convenience for certain types of purchases, specifically when it comes to everyday items such as groceries, personal care items and pet supplies.
Retailers have anticipated consumers’ needs in these areas by offering a variety of innovations such as buy online, pick up in store and two-day shipping. These options can contribute to brand loyalty, as 93% say they are more likely to choose to shop at a specific retailer based on convenience.
“While convenience continues to grow in importance for consumers, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution,” Mathews added. “As the industry evolves, retailers will look to identify additional ways to save consumers time and effort.”
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