Skip to content

The convenience factor: 6 ways to capitalize on this shopper preference

Busy consumers want to buy back time for themselves.

Whether or not consumers like to admit it, even the slightest inconvenience at the checkout stage can cause cart abandonment and brand-related dissatisfaction. This isn't merely lazy or fickle behavior; shoppers are increasingly making buying decisions that will help them save time and energy.

Now more than ever, convenience — or the lack thereof — has a significant impact on shopper behavior. Let's examine the current state of the convenience factor to see what consumers expect and how retailers can deliver.

Convenience and consumer behaviors

The National Retail Federation's (NRF) Winter 2020 Consumer View report made some noteworthy findings about convenience and buyer behaviors:

  • 97% of shoppers have backed out of a transaction because it was inconvenient.
  • 93% are more likely to shop with a retailer based on convenience.
  • 83% agree that convenience while shopping is more important today than it was five years ago.
  • As many as two-thirds are willing to pay across a variety of product categories for increased convenience.

Understanding why convenience matters

Even in such a fast-paced culture, there are only so many hours in the day. For many busy professionals, students and families, free time seems increasingly difficult to come by. As consumers, these time-pressed individuals value the convenience of online shopping and other delivery methods because they can essentially buy back time for themselves.

For some shoppers, this precious time is spent with family and friends. For others, it's freed up for work projects, school assignments, or self-care practices. Other consumers are just happy to shorten or eliminate the time they have to spend in the car and the checkout line.

Browsing the departments and aisles to assess different products in person takes time. Once a fact of life, this is now somewhat of a luxury. Shoppers are eager to partner with retailers who not only understand their scheduling constraints and preferences but who actually help them accomplish these goals.

Woman holds shopping bags and checks her cell phone on a city street.Brick-and-mortar establishments can speed up the process by offering "buy online, pick-up in store" options.

6 ways retailers can increase convenience

Retailers can satisfy this desire for convenience by offering fast delivery services, subscriptions, in-store pickup arrangements, streamlined checkout experiences and more.

Consumers are looking to save additional time during the search and checkout experiences in both online and bricks-and-mortar contexts. Roughly half of NRF's survey respondents sought additional ease in:

  • Locating promotions and discounts.
  • Comparing reviews and prices.
  • Verifying inventory.
  • Checking out.
  • Processing returns.

Here are some ideas for how retailers can meet these consumer expectations:

1. BOPIS options

Businesses with brick-and-mortar establishments can offer "buy online, pick-up in store" (BOPIS) experiences like curbside pickup, trunk delivery and easy-access lockers.

2. Faster delivery

E-tailers can focus on convenient delivery services such as one- or two-day shipping.

3. Subscriptions

For goods that need to be replenished, consumers appreciate set-it-and-forget-it subscription services that employ the recurring charge model.

4. Easier returns

Features like a wide return window, simplified returns processing and free return shipping can add an extra level of convenience that sets retailers apart.

5. Inventory updates

Businesses can utilize robust order management systems that manage inventory in real-time to tells shoppers how many units are available.

6. Prominent promo codes

Retailers should display discount codes and special offers prominently through pop-up windows and sticky banners online, or through clear signage in stores.

To see which tools can help you streamline your order management process and deliver industry-leading levels of convenience to your consumers, take a look at FlexOMS and connect with the SFG team today.

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.