What Digital 3.0 ‘Convenience Shifters’ Want From Merchants

online shopping

Shapeshifting is rarely convenient (ask any werewolf), but in the case of a newly-minted persona that PYMNTS calls the “convenience shifter” some COVID-era behavioral changes aren’t all bad.

Polling 14,000 U.S. consumers since mid-March, the latest installment in PYMNTS’ COVID-19 report series, The Great Reopening: Shifting Preferences, our research classifies ‘convenience shifters’ as “Consumers who put a premium on speed and convenience and are choosing merchants based on their digital offerings.” And there’s more still to this emerging digital-first shopper type.

For example, ‘convenience shifters’ are itching to get outside. When it comes to going back to the office and pre-COVID patterns of living, “… convenience shifters are the second-most eager [group], with 39.3 percent ‘very’ or ‘extremely interested’ in bringing the normal back, compared to 36.1 percent of all U.S. consumers. “This makes both office and convenience shifters more likely than the average consumer to be interested in going back out into the world,” according to The Great Reopening: Shifting Preferences.

Actually, convenience shifters appear more likely than any of the four COVID-era personas to just go for it, from on-premise dining to air travel and an assortment of activities once taken for granted.

“Convenience shifters are more likely than all other persona types to say they want to leave their homes to dine in restaurants, go to leisurely activities and travel in the U.S. Our survey finds 77.7 percent and 66 percent of convenience shifters who want to go back out cite wanting to dine at restaurants and go to leisurely events, respectively, while 59.5 percent cite a desire to travel within the U.S.”

For recovering businesses, convenience shifters are definitely part of the solution, as PYMNTS research shows. “Convenience shifters are far more likely than other persona groups to report interest in digital shopping because they think it is easier, more convenient and faster. Our study finds 21.4 percent of convenience shoppers would be ‘very’ or ‘extremely likely’ to choose merchants based on digital shopping offerings because digital is easier and more convenient, while 17.6 percent say it is faster.”

Moreover, convenience shifters like touchless payments, but more for speed than fear of exposure.

“The digital shopping feature social shifters are most likely to want is touchless payments, which include any methods that allow them to pay without touching card readers. Our research shows 69.9 percent of social shifters say it is “very” or “extremely important” that merchants provide such options, as do 68.6 percent of safety and 63.2 percent of convenience shifters,” according to The Great Reopening: Shifting Preferences edition.

Other pandemic-era personas include the social shifters. These folks are most likely to try to resume pre-pandemic activities and behaviors whenever possible. They are almost the opposite of another group, the safety shifters, who adapt to digital changes because they would rather not leave the comfort of their homes. Read about all of the personas in the latest research.