Consumers today increasingly live life in a blur – what we call a “Hyperlife”.1 In this whirl, anything that saves time is highly sought after. Time is money, but more time also contributes to consumer sanity, enhancing their ability to live a calm and balanced life. This quest for convenience is having an effect on how people choose, purchase and consume a raft of products and services.
We have identified five ways the convenience is king trend is reflected in consumer behavior.
IMMEDIATE NEEDS – Impulse purchasing remains an important part of how people shop. There is also a growing trend of consumers who combine ‘bulk’ shopping at an out-of-town centre with visits to local shops, fittingly known as ‘convenience stores.’ Indeed, the stores live up to this ‘convenience’ label in terms of their location, their opening times, the speed of delivery and the products they have on their shelves. But it doesn’t just end there – people also expect a fast, simple and seamless buying and post-purchase service.
TIME-SAVING – People want to spend more time on what they want to do, and less time on things they don’t. There is less and less time available to spend on tasks such as cleaning, especially with rising numbers of women working and expectations of convenience on the rise. There is an increasing demand for products that help consumers make meals, clean clothes and complete chores quickly, easily and with better results.2
CHANNEL-NEUTRAL – Consumers worldwide becoming more ‘channel-neutral’, flitting between different devices with online connections (computers, mobile phones and tablets) to aid or even complete their household grocery shopping. The benefits are clear: it’s often much more straight-forward make a purchase online, and it can be done from the comfort of your own home.3 Equally, cashless initiatives and payment methods are set to become more established across the globe.4
ADDED BENEFITS – Why buy two or three products if you can buy just one? As consumers are increasingly time-poor, they are embracing multi-functional solutions with added properties – and this is especially relevant in lower interest product categories.5
OPEN TO NEW FORMATS – Consumers are always willing to embrace products and services that are easier to buy, transport, and use. Other factors influencing purchase decisions include smaller pack sizes, packaging that’s easier to open (especially important to the older consumer or ‘silver segment’6) and more convenient and refillable formats that are simple to store and dispose of.
Manufacturers are adapting to this trend by bringing products to market that tick the convenience box in terms of:
How consumers find their products: Product availability is being maximized across a number of retail outlet types, with manufacturers ensuring there is plenty of cross-channel information that is easy to navigate and clearly communicated.
How they buy products and get them home: Manufacturers are providing multi-channel purchasing options and formats that are easy to transport and store.
How they use products: Manufacturers are developing innovations that help people spend less time cleaning or make the cleaning process simple. This is achieved through new formats (single-dose gel packs and tablets, liquids, concentrated solutions, easy dosing tools), by delivering superior performance at low temperatures or shorter cycles, by reducing the need for pre-soaking, scrubbing and hand washing, and by ensuring clothes are easier to iron.
How they discard products after use: Products now come in recyclable packaging that is easy to separate (i.e. plastic from paper) and dismantle.
Increasingly, everyone across the value chain is looking to work in partnership to bring products to market that meet the needs of the ever-demanding modern consumer.
We, the Fabric & Household Care team at DuPont Industrial Biosciences, are striving to put the consumer at the heart of how we collaborate and innovate with our customers.
And understanding the key trends, like the need to make consumer’s lives easier, sits at the heart of this.
By developing pioneering, market-leading enzymes, we continue to help our customers produce products that deliver a high performance clean every time – even at shorter cycles. And, to meet the high expectations of end-users, we are always looking to share ideas and collaborate with retailers, trend analysts and machine manufacturers.
Of course, no other benefits matter if the product doesn’t deliver a great clean – that’s why performance drives everything we do. Consumers may have different expectations of performance, but it still sits at the heart of their world – and ours.
1 Iconoculture, ‘Macrotrends and the big picture’, 2011
2 Mintel, CPG survey, 2011
3 Nielsen, ‘How digital influences how we shop around the world’, August 2012
4 Trendwatching.com, ’12 crucial consumer trends for 2012’, 2012
6 Globally, those over 55 – dubbed the “silver segment” by Boston Consulting Group – will account for more than half the consumer spending growth in developed markets over the next two decades
As the pace of modern living increases and more consumers find themselves leading a “Hyperlife”, anything that can help save time is in high demand. Find out how the detergent industry is innovating to meet these needs.