The Financial Express

Commercialising convenience

| Updated: October 22, 2017 09:05:21

Commercialising convenience

The mark of a good marketeer is the ability to think out of the box about consumers. In the barrage of communication directed towards the consumer extolling the Unique Selling Prospect (USP), the danger is of overkill, over-promise and clutter. To an extent, the latest trend of addressing convenience and comfort exemplifies the overkill. 
As it is, the consumer isn't exactly fresh as a daisy when he or she goes to shop. And beyond a plethora of signage, negotiating a way through increasingly narrow pathways and a written or mental list of 'offers', it doesn't help when representatives cheerily greet one and ask if any assistance is required.
Herald the arrival of convenience marketing. Proponents of online shopping who had gone as far as to predict the demise of the physical store have been proven wrong, just as the pundits that foresaw the death of printed newspapers and books. There will always be the touch, feel aspect to shopping that cannot be recreated. And according to statistics more printed books are being sold compared to the kindle, nook or other electronic forms. 
Online allows for the individual to become lonelier than ever. Human interaction, perceived or not has much to do with physical well-being. A stroll through a mall or a kitchen market has its own therapeutic effects even if purchases are secondary. It isn't unusual anymore to come across people using the cheerful mall environment to do their daily constitutionals.And they're such a comfortable gathering point. But unfortunately comfort is becoming pricier, convenience further so. 
If it wasn't enough that peace of mind is rudely shattered on the convenience front, price tags come with it. The beggars have become more insistent, tapping hard on car windows to force one's attention and listen to their entreaties. And when one has been disposed of, another is always around to test patience and tempt ire. 
The roaming hawkers are no exception. So much for the convenience of cars or taxis. The wonderful world of car parking is another convenience that should be there for tax payers but isn't. And when one can park there's a hefty price tag be it shopping centres, hospitals or anywhere else. 
Traffic police have experimented with lanes, traffic lights, traffic weeks and found deterrent best served by, not fines but sheer inconvenience. And so, through the wonder of technology online ordering jumps in popularity - obviously at a cost.
Comfort comes at its own cost. To have a better view in theatres you have to pay more. And now airlines are finding their own new revenue streams. Seats can be chosen at a cost, luggage sizes are being shrunk-or pay through the nose not to mention no-frill low-budget airlines. The future promises a 'wailing child free' seating-at an extra cost, seat sizes smaller than one's rear. All in line with the new economic order!
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