The fast-laning phenomenon is gaining momentum in the world, especially in the US, where the online platform and mobile applications have improved the convenience of customers in the process of buying goods and services. Currently, most customers are time-starved; thus, the need for fast-landing (Duryee par. 5). This reflective treatise presents evidence that demonstrates why people are busy and are demanding convenience through the four reasons why they are time-starved. Besides, the treatise identifies other triggers of the fast-lane phenomenon.
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Why people are time-starved
There are several reasons why customers are time-starved. The first reason is the busy work schedule each day, which limits the time that customers have to go to stores and queue for services (Stephens par. 3). The long working hours can be attributed to the fixed schedule at work and frequent overtimes in the formal and informal sectors. As a result, the customer remains with very little time on their hand to visit a store and make queues for their favorite brands. As indicated in the Progressive Grocer article, the stop and shop survey indicated that at least 40% of customers are time-starved and would prefer quick-fix meals to make up for the busy schedule (Progressive Grocer par. 4).
The second reason why customers are time-starved is the busy modern lifestyle with many homes, education, and health activities competing for the 24 hours that a customer has in a day. In most cases, the time-starved customers have competing needs that must be addressed in a day to ensure that there is nothing left unattended. For instance, a single mother may have to take the children to school, clean the house, cook, and do other chores in a single day. In the end, she may have very little time to visit busy stores to acquire her favorite brands. According to Willson (2007), 47% of customers in Canada find it difficult to be in long queues due to excessive commitment to addressing other needs (Willson par. 5).
The third reason why customers are time-starved is the busy education schedule, especially for college students who have to attend several classes in a day and still create time to visit busy stores that sell their favorite brands. For instance, college students would prefer placing orders in advance at fast food stores to waiting at the store for almost 20 minutes to get their order processed. Willson (2007) indicates that the busy schedule has made 38% of customers prefer automated services to guarantee convenience (Willson par. 9).
The last reason why customers are time-starved is the busy celebrity lifestyle, especially for a customer segment that is in the icon bracket. This group has very little time to spare since the entire day is always planned for in advance. Losing ten minutes on a queue may be catastrophic to this group. In fact, 82% of this type of customers would prefer self-service through the technological way as compared to being in a queue (Willson par. 12).
Other triggers of fast-laning phenomenon
The current advancement in technology may also be attributed to the fast-laning phenomenon. In fact, more than 75% of customers want convenient means of ordering products and services as opposed to traditional methods of buying favorite brands (Forrest par.6).
Expansion of the internet/social media
At least 75% of customers are quickly embracing the online lifestyle as the internet and social media replace the store-based buying platform. As a result, the customers are able to make purchases from all corners of the globe without visiting the store within the shortest time possible (Forrest par. 2).
Duryee, Tricia. Live from Portland: Starbucks launches mobile ordering, letting time-starved patrons skip lines. 2014. Web.
Forrest, Adam. The Top 5: Time-Starved Holiday Shoppers Are Here to Stay. 2014. Web.
Progressive Grocer. Stop & Shop Survey: 40%-plus of Customers Time-starved. 2013. Web.
Stephens, Becky. Time-starved, health-conscious Americans are a market opportunity for all-natural prepackaged meal helpers. 2013. Web.
Willson, Lorraine. When It Comes to Lining Up, Canadian Consumers Can’t Take It Anymore. 2007. Web.