NRF: Consumers Increasingly Prioritize Convenience

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NRF: Consumers Increasingly Prioritize Convenience

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumers today increasingly prioritize convenience in their purchases and expect retailers to continue offering innovative ways to save time and effort, according to the latest Consumer View report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

"Time is a precious commodity for today's consumers," said NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews. "Shoppers are busier with commuting to work, dealing with family obligations or catching up on schoolwork, among other things. Naturally, convenience factors are playing a larger role in their shopping experience."

The report found that 83 percent of consumers say that convenience while shopping is more important to them today compared to five years ago. Although consumers overwhelmingly choose quality and price in purchasing decisions, convenience gives retailers a competitive advantage, according to the NRF. Nearly all of respondents (97 percent) have backed out of a purchase because they found it inconvenient.

Popular delivery services such as Amazon Prime, Shipt and Instacart reinforce consumers' willingness to pay for convenience. Two thirds of shoppers report paying for at least one type of delivery service, and a quarter of them pay for multiple delivery services.

How consumers shop and where they are in the purchase process can also decide how much convenience matters. Thirty-eight percent state that for online shopping, convenience matters most during the beginning of the process, when they are researching products and deciding which option is best, while 40 percent of in-store shoppers said that convenience is most important during checkout.

Convenience is also a priority when it comes to certain types of purchases, such as everyday items like groceries, personal care items and pet supplies.

Retailers have anticipated consumers' needs in these areas by offering a variety of innovations, including online purchasing, in-store pickup and two-day shipping. These choices can contribute to brand loyalty, as 93 percent say they are more likely to shop at a specific retailer based on convenience.

"While convenience continues to grow in importance for consumers, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution," Mathews said. "As the industry evolves, retailers will look to identify additional ways to save consumers time and effort."