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NRF Shopping Convenience Desires Jan2020Consumers are searching for convenience more than ever, with 83% of shoppers saying that convenience while shopping is more important today than it was 5 years ago. But where do they want more convenience while shopping? A new report from the National Retail Federation (NRF) offers some insights.

Nearly two-fifths (38%) of shoppers say that the discovery and research stage of their shopping experience is where convenience is most important to them when shopping online. For example, many consumers want additional convenience in finding deals and promotions when shopping online (58%), although it’s true that a similar proportion also want such convenience when shopping at a brick and mortar store (55%).

The gap between convenience in online and offline shopping is more acute when it comes to comparing prices or reviews, with 57% looking for additional convenience in this regard when shopping online compared to only 46% who want it in-store. Perhaps understanding the limitations of space and availability of a range of options in-store, more shoppers want the convenience of making it easy to find options online (56%) than they do in-store (47%).

Separately, two in 5 (40%) shoppers say that checkout is the part of the in-store shopping experience where convenience is most important. With long checkout lines being one of the main pain points identified by US shoppers, it’s not surprising that more consumers want a more simplified checkout process when shopping in-store (56%) than when shopping online (47%).

As for the growing topic of returns? An equal proportion of shoppers want the convenience of processing a return (56%) whether they are shopping online or in a physical store.

How Important is Convenience?

Although a full 97% of shoppers say they have backed out of a purchase because it was inconvenient to them, convenience is not necessarily what matters most. Indeed, shoppers put quality (32% share) and price (30%) above convenience (13%). Notably, they do rank convenience higher than brand values (12%) and overall brand (11%) when it comes to their purchase decisions, though.

Additionally, slightly more than half (52%) of shoppers say that at least half of their purchases are influenced by convenience, while 93% of shoppers say they are more likely to choose a retailer based on convenience.

One area where convenience is particularly valued is when shopping for groceries. Some 63% of shoppers say that convenience is very important when shopping for grocery items. This is compared to 47% who say the same about shopping for clothing. Two-thirds (66%) of shoppers say they are willing to pay more for convenience when shopping for groceries, which for some might include paying for a third-party service or subscription to ease the burden of a weekly shop.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 2,949 US adults conducted October 2-29, 2019.

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