With the upheaval of the last year, businesses have been thrust into a world of where customer convenience is more important than ever. What was once seen as a “nice-to-have” feature of a business is now a “need-to-have”. Entire industries have recognized this fact including entertainment with the advent of home streaming, health care with telehealth appointments, and even grocery stores with grocery delivery. All these methods have one thing in common: convenience.
What Does Convenience Mean?
Oxford dictionary defines “convenience” as “the state of being able to proceed with something with little effort or difficulty.” In a practical sense, it means making the process as simple as possible for your customer to make a purchase.
Let’s say you’re a small local retailer selling boutique clothing items. There are a couple things you need to keep in mind. First, convenient does NOT equal cheap. Customers don’t mind paying more for quality. In fact, a higher, but sensible, price can give the customer more confidence in their purchase. If the product lives up to the price, then you’ve taken a huge step towards securing a return customer.
Second, convenience does mean making it as easy as possible for your customer to purchase your product. For a local boutique, this could include keeping your inventory up to date, making sure the shelves are properly stocked and even keeping your website updated with current offerings. E-commerce is great for those distant customers, but convenience is not a given here.
E-commerce requires things like low shipping costs and easy returns, especially if you want to compete with an entity like Amazon. It also requires a marketing strategy that properly conveys how convenient it is to purchase from you.
Convenience in Marketing
This is where the rubber meets the road. Let’s say your clothing boutique has done everything you can to make the purchasing process easy for a consumer. You have low shipping costs online; your store is consistently updated with available inventory. Now you need to bring that to your customers attention.
Whatever method of advertising you choose, the message needs to be clear. “Hey, if you shop with us, you’re going to be able to find exactly what you want and get it for a competitive price in a very short amount of time.”
The trick is to convince your customer that purchasing with you will not set them back too much time out of their lives. Provided you have methods in place to do just that, and those methods are working, then use messaging that pushes that convenience. Use videos and photos to showcase your inventory so that the customer knows what you have before they even get to the store or website.
Be specific. Don’t tell your customer that you have low shipping costs and make them navigate purchase process to find out the exact cost. If they don’t lose attention within the first couple seconds, then they won’t know what to expect thus anything the least bit unreasonable to them will make them bounce immediately.
Convenience can be a great marketing tool, but the key is to keep the messaging specific and consistent with the offer. With those pre-requisites met, you’re well on your way to developing a successful marketing strategy.