Stephen Mader explains how to help shoppers move as quickly as possible along their path to purchase

Kantar Retail: ‘The concept of Convenience has to evolve’

Stephen Mader from Kantar Retail talks about how shoppers have become digitally dependent…

Up until recently, Convenience as a retail label has referred to a physical channel or store that caters to a specific shopper mission (ie reasons to buy) such as fill-in, top-up, impulse or distress. These shopper needs have historically been addressed through smaller stores with optimised assortments intended to save the shopper time.

However, this definition of Convenience is no longer sufficient in a world in which the shopper is digitally dependent and channel agnostic. In order to meet the needs of the future shopper, the concept of Convenience will have to evolve to focus less on the physical dimensions of the retail store, and more around helping shoppers move as quickly as possible along their path to purchase.

There are three elements along this path:
– Shopping (information gathering)
– Purchasing (transacting)
– Fulfilment (taking ownership of the purchase)

Retailers and suppliers must be ruthless in understanding how the shopper behaves in each case, and be active in creating multiple options for the shopper to move between them. In stores, this might involve arming the floor staff with mobile devices to facilitate in-aisle purchasing, or building robust mobile applications that allow the shopper to browse and purchase virtually while in the store.

The ‘Drive’ model, which is now a significant feature of the French groceries market, saves customers time by untangling the shopping, purchasing and fulfilment elements of the path to purchase. Drive allows customers to order online and then collect their boxed-up order. According to research from Kantar Worldpanel, 2.3 million French households visited a Drive during 2012 and that number will all but double to 4.5 million in 2015.

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