Why Convenience is Time

The value of convenience is emphases on consumption rather than production of technology (Thomas F. Tierney)
The other day, when I read the above passage in an article, it made me think that one of the oft-used word in the digital business model is - convenience. Be it the ecommerce, omni-channel, user experience, customer journey, all these hinge on, convenience. But what is convenience and can it be quantified. More importantly, is it for real
Wikipedia defines convenience as, the state of being able to proceed with something without difficulty. Difficulty is directly related to the effort and by definition effort can be termed as the minimum usage of available resources for maximum benefit. As a consumer the finite available resource at his disposal are - Energy, money, and time. But as money is directly related to savings and cannot be considered convenience in the true sense, we shall focus on energy & time. The more you expend your limited resources, the less convenient it becomes. convenience thus is inversely proportional to the consumer's energy & time.
 C α 1/(E+T)
However, the need to own a product will depend on its value (how badly the consumer needs/wants it) and how much it costs in contemporary channels.
Hence
C = V/(E+T)
Where, C= Convenience, E = Energy (for Physical and Mental effort), T= Time, V= Value (perceived value)
 So if convenience is mostly about time & energy…what will one do with the time they are freeing up? I asked few of my friends and colleagues what would they like to do during free time… here are the most popular responses -
  • Watch movie
  • Spend time with family & friends
  • Listen to music
  • Read books
  • Play games
  • Sleep
 So the two probable outcomes of convenience by freeing up time would be more travel and more media consumption. And since the conserved energy needs to be expended, physical exercises or travel would happen . But seriously, travel to meet friends?, which itself is less convincing as one of the prime drivers (no pun here) for going digital was to avoid travel. Since travel happens to be common in both time and energy aspect and in this fast paced life the popular currency of travel/commute happens to be time.. Time is of essence, when it comes to convenience
 The likelihood of doing the notional activities that the user is interested in doing would be a better value proposition for communicating convenience. Eg: Watch "The Avengers" while your shop. Or. Play Squash in your supermart aisle.
Cheers!

Santosh

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