If you are trying to attract new customers, and you want to keep those new customers (and your long-time customers), then know this… someone else is after those same customers — your customers.
So, assuming you have a high-quality product or service they want, and will pay for, here’s your next challenge.
Make it easy and convenient, quick and effortless to get and use your product or service.
Easy and convenient — quick and effortless.
Really easy – really convenient; really quick — really effortless!
Which brings us to… Amazon. Amazon is already the “easy and convenient” champion. Now Amazon may have just come out with the “easy and convenient” killer app of the era.
In their new phone rollout yesterday, they introduced the “Firefly.” Here’s the description of its use in this article by Timothy B. Lee on the Vox site, Why traditional retailers should fear Amazon’s Fire Phone:
The Fire Phone includes an app called Firefly that helps users identify things they point their cameras at, from books to paintings. For some items, Firefly will present useful information, like the Wikipedia page for a famous painting. If it’s an item Amazon sells, Firefly will let you click to buy it.
This should terrify brick and mortar retailers. They have long worried about “showrooming,” the practice where customers will find a product in a physical store (like Best Buy or Home Depot) but then order it from Amazon where the price is lower. Showrooming isn’t new — journalists have been writing trend pieces about it for years.
But Firefly promises to make the process effortless. You’ll be able to walk into a store, find the item you want, scan its barcode, and then order the product from Amazon with one click. You won’t get the immediate gratification of walking out of the store with your purchase (at least not until Amazon drone deliveries start), but you might save money.
The key line:
Firefly promises to make the process effortless.
Let me explain something to you. I know you know this – but it really is true, and worth pondering very carefully. The easier something is to do, the more likely more people will actually do it. The more they will do it (more often), and more people will do it.
Let me tell you a personal story. I like to have music on in the background. In the old days, I had a stereo, and a boom box (mainly for my desk). But, what would happen, all the time, is that the music would “stop,” and I wouldn’t notice for a very long time. So… silence instead of music.
Now, I know there are people who would find ways to place speakers all throughout the house, but it seemed like such a “hassle” to a non-handy-man, non-techie like me.
It got better with Pandora on my computer with my desk speakers. Now, at my computer, I pretty much have music on all the time. But that was only on my computer.
(And, by the way, I’ve quit buying music. So, yes, I can’t quite figure out how the artists are going to make their money…).
But, now, we have music throughout the house – pretty much all the time. Why? It’s now easy and convenient.
We bought a Sonos system. We have slowly added speakers, and now we pretty much have the house covered. And, by the way, we can have some music on in one part of the house, other music in another part… or, we simply have the same music playing throughout. And the key – it is “effortless.”
My wife is happy, because it is wireless – so no cables… We are both happy, because on our iPhones and iPads (and, actually, also from our computers) we control the music with the tap of a finger (or the click of a mouse). The result – music everywhere, anywhere… practically effortlessly.
(And, I can even set the bedroom speaker on NPR in the mornings. And, we leave the music on as we go to sleep, and it turns off with its sleep timer. All, easy, and convenient, and practically effortless – the tap of a finger, takes 2 seconds).
Easy and convenient. That’s the key.
And, by the way, I’m not much of a music aficionado. I really don’t know how good Sonos is (though I did read the reviews, and it sounds like it is praised by all but the most picky of music lovers). But here’s is what sold me on becoming a Sonos customer– easy and convenient.
(And, by the way, our latest Sonos speaker purchase – yep!, you guessed it. From Amazon. Amazon offered a $50.00 “use on anything” credit, and Best Buy could not match it).
Now, you can call us lazy, or too demanding if you’d like. But I will tell you this – as ridiculous as it sounds, it’s a lot of trouble to pull out my iPhone, open Safari, go to Amazon, and find the item I am looking at in a store, and then compare prices. Too many steps. Too many seconds… Firefly will be the push of a button (literally, on the Amazon phone, it is a button on the side of the phone — not even an icon on the screen), and voila… easy and convenient. It really will become second nature.
No wonder the brick and mortar retailers might feel just a little bit terrified.
So this spells trouble for those brick and mortar retailers, doesn’t it? Pretty soon, Firelfly will be an app for the iPhone too, and then I’ll start using it. And I’ll feel a little guilty when I do. But, I suspect I will still use it, in spite of my guilt.
It is a difficult time for those trying to do business the “old way.”
So, what should you do? What should I do?
Start here. Take a look at any and every process you have. Look carefully. Are there any unclear steps; any difficult steps; any” hassles?” Are there too many steps? If so, get rid of them. Make it easy; make it convenient, make it quick and effortless — and then much more easy, and much more convenient to do business with you.
Every second you delay the “easy and convenient, quick and effortless” check-up and upgrade is a second that you might lose yet another customer to the “more easy, more convenient” competitor.