Have you ever spent more money to save time? These days people are seeking out conveniences that save time and they are willing to pay more for that luxury. For example, Internet shopping for clothes instead of waisting time shopping at offline stores, or ordering food from delivery applications instead of going out to eat or even cooking for yourself. Every day it is becoming clearer that time and convenience are the most important elements in people’s lives and people are willing to pay a premium for them. The Dankook Herald (the DKH) investigated this phenomenon, known as convenium, the latest trend in 2020.
|▲ The YouTube Premium service that saves time by watching videos without ads (Photo from YouTube)|
“Convenium” is a newly coined expression that means convenience at a premium. It is an expression fostered by time-poor people, who consider "comfort" as a criterion for consumption. The evolution of convenium goods and services began when millennials, otherwise known as generation Y, became a major consumer segment. Millennials are the generation born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s. They are more individualistic, as compared to former generations and feel comfortable using digital technologies and social media. However, they were born at a time where it was necessary to compete to build their careers as the job markets they faced were tight. Millennials were forced to use their time as efficiently as possible, so as not to fall behind their competition. They also seek time efficiency because they believe there is less time for self-improvement in their fast-paced daily routines. They seek conveniences that eliminate time wasting. Therefore, they pursue convenium goods and services that offer time saving benefits and do not mind having to pay for it.
The DKH examined how widespread convenium culture has permeated our society. We asked students if they ever felt inconvenienced by activities in their daily lives and what they did to resolve it. According to our interviews, if a person felt inconvenienced by having to go out to eat or carry heavy bottled water home, they paid for a delivery service to bring it to them. Using the convenience of a mobile app, they could purchase necessities online instead visiting the shop themselves in person. The DKH asked if they had ever heard about convenium goods and services. The students we interviewed said that they had heard of the concept, but they were not familiar with it. After sharing the definition, they all agreed, they use these goods and services a lot in their daily lives.
With convenium culture spreading throughout society, there are a lot of time saving goods and services available for purchase. Here are some that Dankookians (Students of DKU) can easily access. First, YouTube Premium is a service that saves time by eliminating ads from your viewing activities. People pay a fee and subscribe to this premium service so their viewing time is not interrupted by ads. Second, all-in-one skin care products are growing in demand. Consumers who feel inconvenienced by the many steps in skin care routines are seeking all-in-one goods to save time applying each product one by one. Third, single household appliances for consumers who live on their own are growing in popularity. There are rice cookers for one, so individuals can save time making rice and compact dishwashers that mitigate the inconvenience of washing dishes. Smartphone cradles and shopping apps are also examples of products that save time and energy for users. The benefits are plentiful. First, convenium services maximize our efficiency by helping people save time and effort enabling them to do tasks they prioritize. Above all, the most important effect of convenium goods and services is that they have changed our consumption habits and standards. Unlike in the past, nowadays, consumers value efficiency over price, so companies are trying different approaches to marketing. ‘Hyper-individualized marketing’ is one such example. It is a new approach to selling that provides targetted merchandise information determined by predicting the customers’ needs. This strategy makes people’s lives more convenient and infinitely more efficient.
The idea of paying a premium for convenience has existed for a long time, but the normalization of its demand has only evolved recently. It is generally being accepted as a win-win social phenomenon where consumers have access to more convenient products and services and innovative businesspeople can find new ways to spur on this trend while making a living from doing it.
|▲ It is an all-in-one skin care that reduces makeup time with a single cream of lotion, essence, cream, and moisture. (Photo from Seoul Economy)|
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