“The chilled retail convenience market is worth €145 billion across Europe and has continued to grow at a steady rate throughout the recession when many other markets have stalled. Nowhere is the trend for food on the move more apparent than at lunchtimes when people are looking for convenient and healthy food options which they can enjoy quickly and with minimal preparation.” Joanna Stephenson, Vice President Innovation & Marketing (LINPAC Packaging blog, August 2013)


Description

In a world measured in milliseconds, where people are in a perpetual hurry and under constant pressure, the need to save time and demand efficiency is taking center stage in daily life. A survey by APA.org states that Millennials and Gen X consumers report an average stress level of 5.4 on a 10-point scale where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress,” far higher than Boomers’ average stress level of 4.7 and Matures’ average of 3.7. With urban lifestyles that are getting busier and more stressful, people need to save time and energy, so they resort to products, processes and services that are designed to bring them practicality and make their lives easier.

According to a Forrester survey, 42% of mobile users expect a mobile app to be designed for their convenience.

What’s more, technological and digital tools – particularly through smart connected objects, mobile apps and new payment forms – are making spectacular improvements in how brands can bring ease to consumers as well as giving them more control in how they manage their own routine. According to a Forrester survey, 42% of mobile users expect a mobile app to be designed for their convenience. The seamless combination of convenience and innovation is the ultimate answer to the roaring demands of stressed-out consumers. Innovative tech tools as well as creative and multitasking products are springing up to help individuals manage the overwhelming multitude of everyday tasks.

Practicality in home living

People are no longer thinking ‘more, bigger, better’ but are now rather embracing both practicality – they are favoring what they really need and what they can reasonably afford – while seeking more comfort in their daily life. For instance, a survey by the Urban Land Institute states that 55% of U.S. Millennials consider it important that their home be in close proximity to public transportation. Also, with dwellings that get smaller because of expensive real estate rates, families are going for  high-end amenities and large multipurpose rooms that can be used for anything from entertaining to exercising.

Of the global food packaging market, the global active, intelligent and smart food-and-drink-packaging market reached $12.1 billion last year.

Younger homebuyers certainly enjoy rehabbing their own homes, but they say smart-home capabilities are essential. Product wise, consumers buy objects and items that are easy to use, can multi-task, and overall promote time and effort saving features. For instance, while we’re engaging with food more than ever, most workers don’t have enough time to create elaborate home-cooked meals during the workweek. Of the global food packaging market, the global active, intelligent and smart food-and-drink-packaging market reached $12.1 billion last year. Consumers are demanding more easy-to-open, easy-to-prepare, see-through economic packaging that also protects against oxygen, water vapor and aromas. The development of new “ready meal” concepts in the form of meal kits and premium offerings also ensure that choice and quality of prepared meals are better than ever.

On-the-go

As people have busier lives, there is a need for instant service and fast delivery. The book Urban Nomads by German artist and designer Winfried Baumann is a huge catalogue of movable micro buildings and well-designed solutions for on-the-go living experiences like instant housing, instant cooking, instant exhibition, and instant help. From take-out meals from full-service restaurants to at-home delivery and drive-by dining, individuals and families are seeking the least effort and time between two places.

As Retail Customer Experience put it, “By 2016, 50% of national retailers will invest in distributed order management, enterprise inventory visibility, and workforce management to enable same-day fulfillment.”

Hungry consumers are turning to smartphones and tablets to place online orders for pick-up or delivery, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and second-screen app Viggle: 69% of those polled said they have placed food orders via mobile devices. Speed can also apply to order fulfillment. As Retail Customer Experience put it, “By 2016, 50% of national retailers will invest in distributed order management, enterprise inventory visibility, and workforce management to enable same-day fulfillment.” Examples include self-check-in kiosks in airports, self-scanning machines in supermarkets or DIY services in hotels. Similarly, smart ATMs are booming as well as services with no appointment necessary (beauty bars, car maintenance, etc.), or customisation in situ (Havaianas flip-flops, Repetto shoes, etc.).

On-demand

The spectacular success of car ridesharing service Uber has triggered an incredible popularity of on-demand services, giving birth to a whole new economy. A new breed of technology-driven companies is now fulfilling growing consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services. According relationclientmag.fr, 86% of Uber users speaking about their experiences through social networks consider the service positively – a figure that was collected before backlash over surge pricing during Sydney siege in December 2014. Reasons behind this success include a demand for fast, convenient and flexible services. Consumers don’t want to waste time in the subway, in shops, or beauty salons; instead they are expecting the service to come to them. The Millennial generation is also driven by the search for more fun in their lives as well as the desire to feel pampered.

According relationclientmag.fr, 86% of users Uber speaking about their experiences through social networks consider the service positively – a figure that was collected before backlash over surge pricing during Sydney siege in December 2014.

Indeed, why bother crowding onto a train when you can get a private driver? Although prices are higher than for traditional services, they provide consumers with a feeling of “luxury” while remaining pretty affordable. Anyone booking a private driver to move always feels more privileged than a person who takes the bus. Today, the phenomenon has gone way beyond car sharing to embrace the industries of tourism & hospitality, food & beverage, health, beauty, entertainment, and more.

Featured examples

Google Now

google-now

Credit: Google.com

Google Now is an intelligent personal assistant that recognizes repeated actions that a user performs on the device (common locations, repeated calendar appointments, search queries, etc.) in order to display more relevant information to the user. Along with answering user-initiated queries, Google Now proactively delivers information the user may be interested in, based on their search habits. News, sports scores, weather, or traffic information is served up in real time based on the user’s previous movements and searches. Information is delivered in the form of cards, which the user can tap for more detail or swipe away to ignore.
United States of America United States, April 2013

Apple Pay

apple-pay

Credit: Apple.com

Apple Pay, Apple’s new mobile payment service launched on October 20th 2014, is revolutionizing the way consumers will pay for their purchases. The service is designed to allow iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users in the United States to make payments for goods and services with their iPhones, both in stores and within participating apps, using an NFC chip built into the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and the upcoming Apple Watch.
United States of America United States, October 2014

Stylebee

stylebee

StyleBee is a new service that claims to be “Uber for beauty”. This technology allows customers to request beauty, grooming and wellness services anytime and anywhere. This way, people are able to find and book trusted professionals on demand and in only a few minutes. The transaction is seamless – the payment is charged automatically from customers’ stored credit cards at the end of the service.
United States of America United States, January 2014

PillPack

Credit: Pillpack.com

Credit: Pillpack.com

PillPack is redefining how customers engage with their pharmacy. For $20 a month, plus the normal co-pays, PillPack sends subscribers a roll of presorted medications, sealed in separate packets labeled with the date and time, every two weeks. Shipping is free, and the biweekly boxes also contain those items that won’t fit into packets, like liquids and inhalers, along with information on every drug. The monthly fee includes 24/7 access to PillPack pharmacists, and covers the entire prescription process: the company transfers existing patient scripts from drugstore files, confirms medications and start dates; and contacts doctors and insurance companies to authorize refills.
United States of America United States, May 2013

Very Important Bracelet

Credit: Pocket-lint.com

Credit: Pocket-lint.com

Palladium Hotel Group is bringing convenience via a technology twist to its guests with the ‘VIB’ (Very Important Bracelet), which will be available in the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel and the new Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza. This smart multi-task bracelet enables guests to perform several actions that once required different tools. Now they can open their rooms, access different establishments around the hotel, pay for any product using an assigned PIN code and take advantage of exclusive discounts.
Spain Spain, April 2014

Business & Marketing guidelines

1

Show your customers that you are listening to their problems and you are making their life easier by providing a variety of convenient, time-saving options.

2

Make sure your convenient procedures, products and services do increase ease in accessibility, help save resources (such as time, effort and energy) and decrease frustration.

3

Pay attention to context. Practicality is a relative concept, and depends on the context in which they evolve. For example, automobiles were once considered a convenience, yet today are regarded as a normal part of life.

4

In terms of product, think portability, movability, shrinkability, small-sized formats. Products must now be easily transportable and painlessly assemblable.

5

In terms of service, help shoppers to save time or effort – for example think of credit availability and extended store hours.

Summary

  • With urban lifestyles that are getting busier and more stressful, people need to save time and energy, so they resort to practicality and efficiency.
  • According to a Forrester survey, 42% of mobile users expect a mobile app to be designed for their convenience.
  • People are embracing both practicality as well as comfort in their daily life – through easy-to-open, easy-to-prepare, multitask products.
  • Hungry consumers are turning to their smartphones and tablets to place online orders for pickup or delivery, according to research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and second-screen app Viggle. 69% of those polled said they’ve placed food orders via mobile devices.
  • From take-out meals from full-service restaurants to at-home delivery and drive-by dining, individuals and families are seeking the least effort and time between two places.

Experts that we recommend

christian-quest Christian Quest
Founder of OpenStreetMaps
“The Free Wiki World Map”
winfried-baumann Winfried Baumann
German artist designer and author of Urban Nomads (Nuremberg, 2014)
katina-mountanos Katina Mountanos & Liz Whitman
American co-founders of Manicube