Navigating Consumers’ Quest for Convenience

Posted on by Wayne St. Amand

quest for convenienceThe world is speeding up. Research has suggested that people are walking faster, eating faster, and speaking faster. People are growing more impatient when waiting in lines or traffic. Pressed for time, consumers are increasingly looking for convenient solutions that simplify their busy lives. Nielsen calls this “the quest for convenience.”

To stay relevant, brands must keep up with consumers’ need for speed. But how? Here are some proactive steps marketers can take to satisfy consumer demand in this new era of efficiency, simplicity and convenience.

Factors Driving the Quest for Convenience

To satisfy the needs of both B2C and B2B customers, marketers must first understand the factors driving the desire for convenience. Only then can they adapt their strategies and stay ahead of the curve:

    1. Technology There’s no doubt that technology has fundamentally impacted people’s live—from GPS systems that make it easier to get from point A to point B, to mobile apps that enable consumers to holiday shop while waiting in line at Starbucks. In this increasingly “on-demand” environment, consumers expect to have access to products and services when and where they need them.
    1. Generational shifts People are living longer, and each age demographic has different needs for speed and convenience. Understanding these drivers is essential for marketers in order to tailor their activities to the needs of each segment.
    1. Urbanization There’s a global trend toward urbanization as consumers seek better employment prospects and more convenient lifestyles. Marketers must meet the needs of consumers who are continually seeking ways to streamline their lives amid the faster pace of urban living.
    1. Transportation As cities have become more congested, car ownership has declined while public and shared transportation has started to increase. With commutes now averaging two hours every day, marketers must deliver unique experiences that offer convenience and save time for today’s “on-the-go” consumers.
    1. Downsizing Thanks to increasing population density, limited space for new housing, and higher property prices, many consumers are moving into smaller homes. Marketers must prepare for the changes in product choices and shopping behaviors this “downsizing” creates.
    1. Gender roles Domestic duties are no longer reserved for women. With more women in the workforce, domestic tasks are now shared between genders. To increase wallet share, marketers must evolve their strategies to meet consumer demand across genders.

Satisfying Consumer Needs

For marketers, conquering the quest for convenience means making sure every interaction helps fulfill their audience’s ever growing need for efficiency. By embracing the following best practices, marketers can set themselves up for sustained success:

Create frictionless experiences
The faster pace of life has shifted how people consume food, beverages, and household and personal care items. In fact, 33 percent of consumers are now using restaurant or food deliver services. To capture share of wallet, companies need to consider the entire spectrum of consumption, including in- and out-of-home. By extension, marketers must ensure they are providing consumers with a seamless, fluid and frictionless experience across all touchpoints—whether online, in-store, or on a mobile device.

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Optimize simplicity and usability
Brand experiences that provide personalized and on-demand ease, utility, and simplicity are an imperative. Marketers should embrace new technology that enhances the in-store and online experience. Augmented and virtual reality, for example, can help shoppers avoid trips to physical stores for fashion, services and durable goods, while location-based tactics can help deliver relevant messages and offers to a highly targeted audience.

Ensure engagement is seamless
Connected consumers enjoy the freedom of access to content and information anytime, anywhere. An ever-growing number of channels means there are more opportunities than ever for brands to interact with consumers—before, during, and after consumption. Marketers must be fully immersed in even the newest channels, so they keep pace with emerging consumer needs, deliver seamless engagement, and establish a foothold before the competition crowds in.

Embrace better measurement
To satisfy consumer needs for speed and convenience, marketers need to make optimization decisions based on what’s happening in real-time. Yet many marketers are basing their decisions on data that’s weeks or even months old. Marketers should look for measurement solutions that refresh and remodel data every day, so they can make their planning and optimization decisions as dynamic as their consumers.

The quest for convenience has never been greater. To be effective, marketers need to understand the factors driving consumer behavior, and adapt their strategies and tactics to meet their increasing demands for fast, personalized and frictionless experiences.

Wayne St. Amand is CMO of Nielsen Visual IQ.



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