Why do you think convenience stores are called as such? It’s because you can forget to pick up a carton of milk from the grocery and not worry about the look your wife will give you. All you have to do is to run to the nearest convenience store (there’s always one in the corner) and pick up that milk before your wife even notices that it’s missing. Voila, problem solved. That’s exactly what convenient businesses are. They offer the simplest and easiest solutions to their customers’ problems.
If you are in a hurry, there are plenty of services that you can choose to pay for. You don’t have to wash your clothes if you do not have the time. Take it to a laundromat, and they’ll take care of it for you. Of course, you’d have to pay for the services; just like you have to pay someone to mow your lawn, clean your house, and park your car.
Convenience, as a retail concept, is nothing new. Businesses have been selling pre-cooked or ready-to-cook meals for years because people crave the idea of simply popping the container in the microwave oven. But convenient businesses mean different now.
If you have ever ordered something from Amazon, then you know what this means. It’s more than just getting items delivered to your doorstep. It’s the whole plethora of things — from ordering that item online to getting it delivered overnight. Or, because it’s the new millennium, Amazon’s drones will just drop that item on your doorstep, no questions asked.
How Can You Turn Your Business Into a Convenient Business?
Not every business model can offer convenience to their customers, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Your business process and transactions should be so easy that customers wouldn’t think twice about choosing you. Take a page from Amazon’s book. Its convenient features are what set it apart. Talk about two-day delivery, easy returns, and one-click ordering. With the retail giant, every feature means to make ordering from the site easy for the consumers.
It’s the same principle you should apply to your business transactions. Even traditional businesses like financial institutions started to integrate convenience into their services. Today, you can apply for a debit card online. That was not possible a decade ago as banks will prefer you to fill up and sign forms in front of a bank representative.
And then, there’s the traditional way of calling a cab. You would think that calling a hotline number is the most convenient way of scheduling a cab pickup. Uber revolutionized that. Drawing from the power of apps, all customers have to do right now is open the app, type in the desired destination, and wait for a driver to pick the “order.”
The customer can even see how far the driver is from the pick-up point. Completing the transaction has been made easier, too. There’s no need for money to exchange hands. You will have a digital wallet in the app that you can use to pay the driver. This has been especially useful during the coronavirus outbreak.
These are some of the features that businesses should strive to offer their customers and clients. If you’re a take-out nook, offer for-pick-up and delivery options. If you’re a grocery store, start an online store. Laundromats can offer to pick up their customers’ laundry and deliver them when they’re sorted and folded.
Why Is Convenience So Important?
The reason that customers remain loyal to a brand is because that brand makes things easy for them. Why would you want to transact with a company that causes conflict or resistance? They do business with companies when it is convenient for them—whether that means looking for a 24/7 diner or transacting online.
People’s lives are stressful and complicated enough. They don’t need the added complication of transacting with certain businesses. The winning strategy is to make life as easy as possible for your customers. That will put you ahead of the competition.
How do you know that you’re offering as much convenience to your customers as possible? If you’re doing social media listening, you should already hear about any negative feedback about your business. Take time to listen to what your target market is saying. If they aren’t happy with your products and services, it might be because you are not a business that offers convenience.
Surviving the impact of the pandemic and the ongoing economic recession will require extraordinary resourcefulness from businesses. But on top of that, it is high time that you listen to the demands of your target audience. Make your business as convenient as it can be, and watch it grow even amid these uncertain times.