Our world moves pretty fast. In the midst of a pandemic, while life may have slowed down, businesses have had to pivot, fast. As a result, businesses are doing their best right now to cater to customers since virtually everyone’s needs have changed. Countless hours have been spent fine-tuning products and services to ensure this.
While there are many things you should do to make your business more customer-focused, few are more important than maximizing the convenience you can offer to consumers – especially right now.
Whether or not your offerings are truly convenient will go a long way in helping you better serve your customers. The easier it is for them to get needed information and complete a purchase with you, the happier they’ll be. In the long run, convenience may just decide your ability to grow your business.
What Is Convenience In Business?
As Caitlin Burgess writes for TopRank Marketing, “Your goal is to deliver the right information, at the right time, to the right person, on the right platform. This is the essence of convenience. You want to make it easy on your audience to get the information they need and to make a decision — and you want to enhance the journey and create a better experience for all. How do you do this? By reducing friction. Why? Because where friction exists, frustration exists — and frustrated buyers and customers will seek out the path of least resistance.”
To create convenience, business owners must find ways to eliminate that “friction” that could pop up anywhere in the process when a potential customer is interacting with or buying from your brand.
Quite often, your current customers will provide feedback or reviews that mention ways in which your business (or your competitors business!) didn’t live up to those expectations of convenience. This gives you great insight into the buyer’s journey and can help you identify areas that could be streamlined or simplified.
Just How Influential Is Convenience?
Our desire to find convenient solutions can prove very powerful, as I recently discussed in an email conversation with Antonio Perini, CEO of Milkman. He explained, “Human beings are designed to generally choose the more convenient option when making intuitive decisions. It’s no surprise to see this lead to a race for more speed and convenience in retail.”
Continued Perini, “However, the optimal point between convenience and price is a personal choice that can vary from person to person. Giving your customers a range of balance points between convenience and price will make them far more likely to do business with you, and at the same time, your offering will remain financially sustainable.”
This becomes particularly relevant in light of one of e-commerce’s biggest convenience factors: delivery services like Amazon Prime. In fact, a survey from Smart Insights found that 66 percent of customers pay for an online delivery service. 25 percent of those surveyed actually pay for multiple delivery services.
In this case, the convenience of getting an order in as little as one or two days is worth the extra cost. Of course, even non-Prime members are given several shipping options, with varying price points and delivery speeds to match their preferences. The same survey also found that 66 percent of shoppers are willing to pay more for their groceries if the grocer offered something to make their purchase more convenient through options like delivery or curbside pickup.
As this shows, convenience can actually help increase your profit margin, allowing you to charge more than your competitors because you have differentiated with a helpful, beneficial solution.
Implementing Convenient Solutions
Convenience can mean different things for different companies. One company might provide fast answers to customer questions through a robust online chat system. Others will use a dedicated FAQ page to provide in-depth information. Both solutions can work well to alleviate customer pain points. For businesses, the challenge is determining which option will be the best suited for your target audience.
Quite often, a big part of making your business more convenient for your customers involves trimming down, rather than adding more to your website or in-store experience.
Writing for Adobe Marketo Engage, web designer Lexie Lu gives this example regarding online navigation: “You need to limit the number of categories in your navigation bar, so it doesn’t become overly bulky — you should also place it in the same location on every page. Conduct some A/B testing with your bar, trying slightly different positions, tab arrangements, and even wording. This will tell you what users prefer and what works best for your site.”
This idea is further supported by The Canadian Marketing Association’s Janet Schoel, Debbie Major and Shafiul Fuad, who notes, “Offering customers with too many channels can be overwhelming to the consumer and lower overall satisfaction. There should be internal dialogue that takes place to determine if new channels eliminate the need for existing ones or if they require an overuse of company resources to manage.”
Making A Commitment To Convenience
Whenever you are making a change to your business, it’s important to truly put yourself in your customer’s shoes and consider whether it will make their interactions with you more or less convenient.
Delivering convenience requires a proactive mindset, one that actively anticipates the changing needs of your customers. By ensuring that your entire team is fully engaged in improving the customer experience, you will be able to eliminate friction points entirely. A more enjoyable and streamlined process will ultimately benefit everyone, making life easier for your customers while reducing your workload.