Technology has changed consumers’ perceptions and expectations, especially when it comes to convenience. You can call it the Amazon effect or simply a change in consumer behavior. Regardless, consumers have made in-demand culture a permanent thing, and they are looking for the most convenient ways to get what they want.
In many ways, the pandemic has made shopping inconvenient. In-person shopping and product availability are becoming a problem for consumers, yet these become major opportunities for you to stand above the competition.
Meeting Your Customers’ Needs
A customer need is driven by the motivation to solve a problem when they are purchasing a product or taking advantage of a service. There are many needs that a customer may have:
Most of these focus on the product and what it does. However, convenience is the exception. Therefore, providing a more convenient experience for the customer will show greater value in everything you offer.
How to Become More Convenient
More people are using the internet to find the products and services they want. They also want to shop in person, when possible. To offer more convenience, you need a good omnichannel strategy.
Omnichannel is a combination of a robust digital presence that expands your brick and mortar store’s reach. You need to coordinate online and over-the-phone orders with in-store operations. But, to do this right, you need an integrated inventory management system and point of sale that handles the following transactions.
In-Store and Curbside Pick Up
This is a good option while we are still being affected by a pandemic, but it’s also forward-thinking when considering the future of retail. More consumers are using their phones to shop for big-ticket items, such as furniture and electronics. About a third (33%) prefer to make purchases on their smartphones, while half felt that buying on a tablet or desktop computer is a more frictionless experience. These numbers are expected to increase rapidly over the next few years. You can embrace these shoppers by offering them a way to put items on hold for in-store or curbside pick up.
This may be the age of easy credit, but millennials and Gen Z are staying away from credit card debt. Layaway is an attractive way to help your customers get the products they want without racking up debt. It never affects their credit score and gives them a payment plan that fits their budget. One of the most significant benefits is that it reserves the hottest selling items without worrying about them going out of stock.
Financing is a two-in-one business tool. It provides fantastic advertising messages to get new customers in the store. And, it’s a tool for salespeople to close a deal when prospective customers are not fully committed to make a purchase. Customer financing comes in a variety of options. You can set up your own in-store financing or go with a third party. Either one gives your customers the alternatives they are looking for.
It’s no secret that consumers look for next day delivery. But did you know that they will pay for convenience? Because of their busy lifestyles, they are willing to spend a little more to get the same delivery services they want. Offering special times for delivery and maintaining two-way communications through text are things they value. They can plan their day without unwanted interruptions or surprises. The key here is frictionless service using digital communication.
Convenience Versus Speed of Service
As you can see, these services offer more value for the products people want. They are simple to implement and can become more flexible over time. Each one relies on utilizing the latest in technology, such as text messaging and online ordering. These streamline the entire checkout process, making the customer experience as enjoyable as possible.