Convenience now crucial

Convenience in retail

A recent US report has revealed the increasing role convenience plays in retail, with a survey indicating 13 per cent of shoppers base their purchasing decision on convenience, and consumers now consider it far more important than it was just five years ago.

In addition, many are willing to pay more for the privilege of convenience and almost all have abandoned a purchase because it wasn’t easy to make.

Here’s an insight into the role of convenience and why it’s now crucial to retail.

Latest consumer findings

According to the latest Consumer View Report by the US National Retail Federation, convenience now ranks as the third most important factor in all purchasing decisions.
Conducted over winter and the holiday sales period, the report found quality ranks as the most important factor, with 32 per cent of survey respondents indicating it was the main reason they selected an item.
The low price was the second most important criteria at 30 per cent, while convenience ranked third (13 per cent), brand values came in fourth (12 per cent), and overall brand accounted for 11 per cent.
However, the concept of convenience proved an interesting one.

The role of convenience in retail

Although only one in 10 people indicated convenience was the main factor that prompted them to make a purchase, an astounding 97 per cent of shoppers noted they had backed out of a purchase because it was inconvenient to them.

Meanwhile, 83 per cent indicated convenience is now more important to them than it was just five years ago as the time constraints of modern life take their toll. And for some purchases, convenience is far more important than for others.

The report found groceries top the list of products where consumers seek convenience, with 63 per cent of survey respondents saying it was “very important” and 64 indicating they’d be willing to pay more for ease of experience.

Next was clothing. Almost half (47 per cent) said convenience was very important, while 61 per cent will pay more for it.

The third was electronics, with 42 per cent of people indicating convenience was very important, and 59 per cent noting they’d be willing to pay more for it.

Personal care products and also pet supplies were next on the list, with 41 per cent of people indicating convenience was very important when purchasing in either of these categories, and 58 per cent were willing to pay more for it when buying products.

When convenience counts

Convenience in retail

The report also noted convenience matters more at some points of the purchasing journey than others.

In online retail, 38 per cent of people indicated convenience matters most in the research phase. That was followed by post-purchase (23 per cent), then right before the purchase (20 per cent), and finally at the checkout (18 per cent).

In stores, convenience matters most at the checkout (40 per cent), right before making a purchase (25 per cent), post-purchase (18 per cent), and then in the research phase (16 per cent).

Convenience strategies

In terms of areas where retailers are already delivering convenience, Buy Online Pick Up Instore (BOPIS) has emerged as one of the most popular options.

Most people said they had tried BOPIS, 70 per cent of respondents indicated it improved their retail experience and many were willing to try BOPIS in different forms.

  • 77 per cent of people had bought online and picked up at the register, and of those who hadn’t 88 per cent were will too.
  • 43 per cent had tried curb-side pick-up, and of those who hadn’t, 81 per cent were willing to
  • 32 per cent had tried truck delivery, and of those who hadn’t, 74 per cent were willing to
  • 28 per cent had picked up their online order using a locker code, and of those who hadn’t 63 per cent said they would be willing to

The final takeaway

As consumers feel more pressed for time, convenience now counts more than ever, and that’s only likely to increase in the coming years.

As a result, consumers have welcomed initiatives like Buy Online Pickup Instore, but for many retailers, there’s room for improvement, and the rewards will be worth the effort.

If retailers can offer a more convenient shopping experience, chances are consumers will pay more for the privilege.