Tapping Time-starved Consumers, Growing the Retail E-commerce Model

This is a look into the time-starved consumers' segment for retail and e-commerce businesses to explore.


People today are busier than ever, and their active lifestyles are creating fundamental changes in buyer behaviour, almost forcing businesses to transform. The term “Time-starved Consumers” has gained significant ground in the retail and e-commerce space. 

Short-on-time consumers are the main driving force for e-commerce companies that provide high-quality services and fast delivery. Not only has the time factor changed and influenced buying behaviour, but it has also changed business models for start-ups and businesses of all sizes.

Time-starved consumers and their shopping behaviour

The time crunch and associated social changes have undoubtedly affected the way time-starved consumers shop. Convenience is the top concern for these shoppers, and they are more focused on shopping remotely to save time. This trend has provided a solid boost to the retail and e-commerce market. 

Supermarkets, small Kirana stores, and even newly emerging e-medical stores, among others, are becoming technologically advanced to offer consumers the highest quality products fast. Convenience and lack of time are the reasons for the rise of e-commerce companies Amazon and Flipkart in India over the last decade.

Businesses are also delving deep into the realm of hyperlocal deliveries and models where there is no need to stop and check out products physically. These are all aimed at easing consumer’s journey in a retail store and making products available to them as fast as possible while reducing their time in the store for their convenience. 

How to tap this time-starved consumers segment?

To capture the attention of time-starved customers, companies need to act instantly and use precise means of communication. To communicate with the target group, they must develop marketing strategies to disseminate an enormous amount of information.

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Factors like information, colour schemes, design elements, and others, have the most significant effect as quickly as possible on buyers and give insights into the consumer segment's needs.

Adopting omnichannel strategies is also very important for catering to the new segment of fast-paced customers. By staying mobile, businesses can give shoppers round-the-clock access to their products and services.

Retail-E-commerce boom and rapid real-time delivery 

Today, the growth in e-commerce and retail is mainly due to the fast delivery and click-and-buy features that companies offer. When convenience is critical, it’s essential to allow customers to customise their experience, especially in the way they shop. If a company provides delivery the same day, has weekend or after-hours delivery, it becomes a good shopping destination for time-starved consumers.

Future hopes for the time-starved consumers segment

Buyer behaviour is dynamic, and it keeps changing every now and then. It is wrong to make assumptions instead of taking the time to understand their needs. The busy shopper is starved for time, no matter what the industry is. Consumers want and expect companies to develop easy to use products and rapid delivery services for them. These are, therefore, going to be the driving forces behind the strategy of the future and will also help the companies succeed.

Companies need to explore new models to build and deepen customer relationships and develop products and services that provide enough value to keep consumers in touch with their needs. Conducting regular market research can help businesses keep their sales and marketing teams ahead of the competition to capture the time-starved consumers’ segment while growing their retail e-commerce model.

Aakash Sharma
Aakash Sharma
Aakash writes on Startup Ecosystem, Policies, Legal and Regulatory aspects of business planning. An alumnus of Delhi University, he is assistant editor at Dutch Uncles.

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