Corporate Eye

Convenience Trumps Price for a Growing Group of Consumers

convenience_storeA new report from The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research sheds new light on a growing shift in what’s most important to consumers these days.  According to the study’s results, 28% of consumers surveyed in June 2009 admitted they are willing to pay more for products and to shop at stores that offer greater convenience, speed of service, and so on.  That’s up from 23% in May 2009.  While you might think that given the state of the economy, the opposite would be true, the report tells us there is a growing audience of consumers who are so busy that even during difficult financial times, they’ll pay more for convenience.

The statistics make sense.  Regardless of how tight consumers’ finances are, for many people, time constraints are far worse.  With that in mind, one-stop-shopping stores are again becoming the focus of consumers’ sites.  Speedy check out at retail locations, clean stores, and having the items consumers want are some of the top factors that make the 1,200 consumers surveyed in this study choose one store over another.

However, don’t be completely misled by these results.  60% of respondents still cite high price as being the reason why they opt not to shop at certain stores.  Interestingly though, stores not having what consumers need is nipping at the heels of high price with 59% of respondents citing that as a primary reason why they don’t shop at certain stores.

So what does this survey teach us in terms of branding and marketing trends?  First, there are opportunities to be leveraged in terms of luring consumers to your brands by making them convenient.  Think of how you can make your brand more convenient.  Could you offer it through more convenient distribution points or in more convenient sizes?  Can you speed up the purchase process?  Can you tie in installation or other services that will save consumers time?  Think out of the box and get creative!

Second, the first thing everyone tries to do when times are tough is lower prices.  Even if you aren’t the first brand to lower your price, soon your competitors will, and you’ll feel like you have to as well.  Don’t be pressured into lowering prices unless doing so is truly the only way to keep your brand competitive.  Instead of jumping to lower prices, consider other options.  For example, think of how you can make the convenience opportunity work for your brand.  According to this study, over 1 in 4 consumers are willing to pay more in exchange for added convenience.  Become the convenient brand!

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
Comments

Hi, found you via Twellow. Interesting posts.

I agree about not dropping prices. I started my business in January and seem to be commanding increasingly better paid work as time progresses. I offer a high quality decorating service, I have set rates, which enables me to be consistent while I build up a client base. Rather than keep increasing prices for the same service, I am gradually moving into my specialist niche, hand-painted kitchens and furniture, which commands a premium rate, and sets me apart from most other companies.

To bolster the over all quality of what I do, I have teamed up with a brilliant colour specialist and offer a free initial colour consultation for customers lost for ideas. I refuse to undervalue what I know I do well, and try to improve on what I offer all the time. Convenience is great, but sometimes the best things cant be rushed!

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