Consumers want convenience. It’s time to spot the business opportunity

0
Woman walks past a stack of newspapers to illustrate business opportunity of convenience

Time-poor consumers are moving to products and services that prioritise convenience, creating a handy business opportunity, writes Will Higham

Two news stories caught my eye recently. Google confirmed 2017 as commercial launch date for the Ara: a modular smartphone whose functions – camera, music player, mini-printer – are all removable and as interchangeable as apps. And a survey found fewer young people eat cereal for breakfast as it means washing up the bowl. Two unrelated stories, one trend: the ‘new convenience’.

Consumers feel overworked. They’re drowning in data. Their Fomo (fear of missing out) is driving them to fill up their diaries. As a result, convenience begins to outweigh many other behaviour drivers – even price. Working for a London newspaper recently, I found what commuters like best about the ‘free sheets’ is not that they’re free but that they remove the need to detour to a newsagent.

It’s prevailing over privacy: one study saw 61 per cent of consumers happy to trade some privacy for more relevant marketing. It’s even chipping away at brand status and – via the ‘access-ship’ trend – consumerism itself. Some 22 per cent of Americans now buy based not on brand but ease of storage. Meanwhile, 73 per cent of adults globally would “rather have a few useful possessions than many”.

It might seem counter to the ‘slow living’ I discussed last month. But the ‘new convenience’ is more about comfort than speed. It’s about reducing obstacles, choosing products and services that fit easily into our lives. As a result, companies will need to come up with a new form of brand aid. Building loyalty – and revenue – by offering ways to make life easier: simplifying choices, removing red tape, providing options, enabling compatibility. Creating clothes that work across occasions, seasons and demographics, say. Technology products pre-personalised – or customisable – to specific requirements. Financial services with simpler forms, policies and prices. Entertainment products consumable across channels and via intuitive interfaces.

As the ‘new convenience’ becomes a priority for consumers, it’ll need to become a priority for companies too.

Will Higham is a popular speaker and founder of strategic consultancy Next Big Thing

next-big-thing.net

@nextbigthingco

About author

William Higham

William Higham

William Higham is the founder and CEO of consumer trends consultancy Next Big Thing.

No comments

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.