Studies show that we’re all time starved and stressed out. When asked what people want more of, most people say time. Tom Ryan writes on today’s RetailWire ( http://www.retailwire.com ) about The Value of Time.
All this rampant bargain hunting may be saving consumers money, but it also takes up a lot of time, according to a research report from NCR Corporation, the self-service solutions provider. The extra time involves looking on the internet and in circulars for deals as well as traveling to a greater number of stores to find them.
A survey of 500 U.S. consumers by BuzzBack Market Research in December 2008 found that the markdowns are resonating as 80 percent said that they are buying discount or sale items. But the survey found that saving time and easing the buying process were also important to consumers:
Fifty-three percent are using the internet more frequently to research products and prices;
Forty-six percent want to receive price comparisons, product reviews, coupons, promotions and store sales information online or via e-mail; Forty-nine percent are switching between retailers, 'shop hopping', to get better value; Twenty-six percent are making more frequent shopping trips to take advantage of promotions; Twenty-one percent are shopping at stores with more flexible hours and 17 percent are increasing trips in line with pay day.
Not surprisingly, NCR found that many consumers were looking for self-service technologies as one way consumers were looking to speed up the shopping process. Of those surveyed:
Seventy-two percent were more likely to shop with a retailer that gives consumers the flexibility to interact easily via online, mobile and kiosk self-service channels versus a retailer that does not; Forty-nine percent believed kiosks that show them where to find products in stores would be convenient; Forty-three percent believe receiving discount offerings and product information on large screens in-store would be convenient; Thirty-nine percent want self-return solutions for processing returns quickly.
"People assume that in an economic downturn the consumer is only motivated by price, but this research shows that retailers also need to deliver on changing service expectations that consumers say they value as well," said Mike Webster, chief strategy and communications officer for NCR, in a statement.
One reader commented "The general rule (and its inverse) still applies to retailing: Time is more valuable then money to shoppers who have more money than time." Another commented that it's funny how consumers will wait three days for a package to arrive that's been ordered on-line, but get impatient when they have to wait five minutes in a brick and mortar store. On-line retailers are famous for good customer service, the average retail store not so much. In the end, it really is all about the experience, isn't it?