Hectic lives inspire firms to offer faster services

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download When time is of the essence, habits change quite easily. Having understood that today’s consumer is in need of getting the desired results, albeit in a shorter duration, marketers are innovating with products and services to cater to this time-strapped buyer.

While consumers are multitasking with buying groceries and hailing cabs on mobile phone apps, food is getting delivered at record time and household chores are increasingly being outsourced. At the same time, the traditionally `wet-meal’ consuming double-income households are shifting to dry meals, giving rise to a new `quasi’ meals culture. On-the-go packs of juices too are selling more than large in-home packs, indicating the shift in consumption patterns. What’s mo re, even salons are whipping up new express services that significantly cut down the time required for a certain grooming procedure (hair colour, facial, mani-pedi) to cater to the new generation of `busy’ consumers.

If a consumer was earlier spending 40 minutes on getting her hair coloured, she is only too willing now to spend more if there is a significant trade-off on time. Salons like Lakme are developing express services in manicure and pedicure, 10-minute hair colouring (as against the processing time of 40 minutes for regular colouring) and certain premium facials done in shorter durations which are priced higher than regular facials. “Time is the new currency .Customers are keen to get a great experience with efficient results, which are time-saving.We have introduced hair and beauty solutions that offer substantial outcome in relatively less time,” said Pushkaraj Shenai, CEO, Lakme Lever.

Aclear pointer towards convenience driving consumption behaviour is that almost 60% of online grocery retailer Bigbasket’s orders are coming through the app and nearly 65% of its customers are browsing the app .

“The natural shift to mobile shopping indicates that customers today demand superior products and services that are extremely convenient to avail.And the meaning of convenience is almost synonymous to saving precious time,” said Vipul Parekh, co-founder, Bigbasket.

Bigbasket’s internal analy tics has seen a gradual decrease in the average time spent by consumers across its website and app before making a purchase. Customers are spending 3.6 minutes on an average today versus 5.5 minutes in June this year, before making a purchase.

Marketers have also spotted an opportunity in quick dry meals. According to Geetu Verma, executive director (foods & refreshment), HUL, there is an emerging trend towards quasi meals. “We have been a culture driven by wet meals (dal, sabji, roti or rice-sambar) -three times a day . Given that pace of life in urban India has become hectic, there is an easy quasi meal kind of culture that is setting in. Rather than a roti-sabji, you could have a roll or a wrap. Outof-home meals are moving towards quasi meals,” said Verma.

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