Convenience is one of Euromonitor International’s 10 consumer-driven megatrends, one that has been evolving for many years, but accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic as individuals learnt even more about their priorities, and where and how they want to spend their time and efforts.
Convenience is now a critical factor influencing consumption and spending decisions, and oftentimes consumers are willing to pay a premium for it. Consequently, businesses need to understand what convenience means to consumers, so they can adapt and innovate to respond and offer the right solutions.
In this article, we look at the convenience trend from the perspective of three pillars: time as an asset, age of on-demand, and as simple as it can be.
Living in a world where time is an asset
Busy lives and increased connectivity are changing the way individuals spend their time, with more activities concentrated over a narrower period. Over half of respondents in our 2023 Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey stated having time for themselves is a top priority for them. Time has become an important asset for consumers who are reducing the hours spent on less desirable activities, such as household chores and shopping, instead choosing to create more time to spend on what’s important to them, the things they are passionate about and enjoy.
To do this, consumers need solutions that eliminate pressure from their responsibilities and enable them to be more efficient and do more, well.
Consumers seek products and services that make daily tasks easier and quicker to do, and many will pay for the convenience these offer
Source: Euromonitor International
Businesses across categories should focus on aligning their portfolios to support this need with more efficient, effective solutions that produce the desired result using the least amount of the individual’s time.
Consumers demand everything “now” in this age of on-demand
Immediacy is an important factor in the consumer journey. Advancements in technology are transforming how individuals live, shop, work and play, driving their desire to access what they want, when they want it, in the way they want it. Flexibility and options relating to product choice, ways of engaging and payment solutions, to how and where they access goods and services, are also key in consumers’ drive for instant gratification.
32% of global consumers say anytime, anywhere is key to shopping online
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Digital Survey
Today’s consumers are connected, app-native, digitally savvy, and impatient, with high expectations of having their needs met immediately and a great experience across all they do.
Leveraging technology, especially automation and AI, to improve responsiveness and cater to consumers’ sense of urgency is mandatory for companies looking to succeed in offering convenient on-demand solutions.
Facilitate simplicity across the journey
According to our Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey in 2023, more than two thirds of global consumers state they want to simplify their lives. These consumers want companies to help them reduce the effort they need to exert in finding the right products and making purchases. People have more choices and options than ever before and so preference is often given to those that enable easy access to information and decision-making.
Consumers also want smooth, frictionless experiences when using their purchases. They look for products and services that reduce or eliminate cumbersome and multiple steps in any activity and provide an experience that is seamless and streamlined.
Once again, businesses should look to technology to facilitate simplicity for consumers across the pre- and post-purchase journey; however, a balance is needed. Companies must determine when automation benefits and when in-person interaction is needed to create effortless experiences for the user.
Convenience: What you need to know
- Time is a commodity that consumers are willing to pay for, creating a multitude of opportunities for business to innovate and grow.
- A proactive, consumer-first approach that pre-empts individuals’ needs is an important and winning strategy.
- Customers must be able to interact with your platforms and representatives easily and receive a great experience.
- By offering choice and flexibility, you create a solution for all, reducing the possibility they will look elsewhere.
- Investments in technology and automation are not optional; it is critical to be able to respond to the convenience needs of consumers.
Learn more about the convenience trend in our report Megatrends: Convenience to inform your innovation strategy.
Learn more about all of our 10 megatrends in our white paper, Transform Your Innovation Strategy with Megatrends, and understand the drivers of these trends in Understanding the Five Drivers of Megatrends.