Whatever else they want, it is clear that consumers want an easy shopping experience— the ability to buy what they want, when they want…without having to work too hard or travel too far. It’s why package good stores are often also called convenience stores.
When the big shopping centres arrived, consumers were treated to a wider selection and lower prices, not to mention food court, games, and entertainment…all under one roof. It was predicted that these shopping malls would run local “mom and pop” shops out of business, and many small businesses did fall by the wayside.
Many…but not all.
Some local businesses continue to thrive because they provided convenience. Convenience is the consumer’s best friend, so you should make it your hardest working employee.
The Internet has rocketed demands for convenience to an extraordinary new level. Consumers have learned to expect everything from instant “analysis” of loan applications and instant approval of mortgages, instant delivery of eBooks, and instant love at dating sites.
What is convenience? Convenience is different things to different people. For a single parent, convenience is the ballroom at Ikea where kids can play while parents take care of business. For a senior who no longer drives, free delivery from the pharmacy is important.
ATM cards also re-defined convenience since this give us round-the-clock access to our money. They are also self-promoting. Since the cards are used in public, people who do not yet hold the cards can see how convenient they are.
Food for Thought: Convenience Trumps Fear
Although some people were concerned about security, convenience seemed to be a decisive factor in the “tug-of-war” for and against their adoption.
Ask your customers what convenient services would best fit their needs and get busy implementing those ideas, concepts and service. The benefit is two-fold.
First, your “market research” with existing customers gives you outstanding insight into what potential new customers will want. Second, when your existing customers see you take ACTION, they’ll know that you truly listened to them and care enough to be responsive to their requests.
That’s the way you build customers FOR LIFE.
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