Patience is key.
From childhood, we’ve been taught that being patient is better in the long run. In today’s online world, however, waiting is becoming more and more detrimental to successful business. Online consumers want answers, and they want them now.
We’ve reached the point in time some may not have thought possible—the human attention span (8 seconds) is shorter than that of a goldfish (9 seconds), and it’s all thanks to our growing demand for quick gratification. Instant gratification is the desire for immediate fulfillment and pleasure, or knowing what you want and wanting it immediately, and it’s exactly how the instant gratification era of consumers operate.
In today’s society, success lies with those that can give consumers instant satisfaction. Businesses have a tiny window of time to attract visitors, grab their attention and convert the sale. This means your messaging must be precise, get the point across, and delivered with precise timing. So how does a business do all of that in eight seconds?
Your website is the main point of contact for your online consumers. It’s where they find information about your company—what you are, what you stand for, what you sell, and most importantly, the benefits you offer them. It’s also where consumers expect fast response, quick loading time and easy-to-find answers to their questions.
Start by decreasing your page loading time. The amount of time it takes for your website to load on a consumer’s desktop or mobile device can make or break your sale. The shorter your load time, the better, because once consumers leave a website for slow loading times, they rarely return. Studies show that 53 percent of mobile users will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Not only will this drive consumers away, it also makes it harder for people to find your website online, hindering your ranking based on Google's standards. Take time to consider what your consumers are searching for online and use those keywords in your website’s content. It’s also important to get to the point. While Google's SEO rules may favor lengthier content, consumers' attention spans do not. Put the most information towards the top of the page, where people will find it more quickly.
It’s also important to ensure that your website is user-centered and optimized for mobile devices. Consumers are spending more time accessing the web from mobile devices, so it’s important that your website has the ability to scale to fit their screen size. An unresponsive or difficult-to-use website that isn’t mobile-friendly can discourage users from accessing your site elsewhere, even if it functions perfectly on a desktop device.
The instant gratification era relies on immediate communication, which makes it vital to success in today’s society. This means you must be available to connect with customers when they want to, no matter where they are or what time of day it is. Remember that your consumers may not have the ability to reach out to your during your normal 8-5 business hours, so try to be available to them outside those hours. This can be achieve through 1-800 customer service lines or online chat services. However, one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with customers is through social media.
While social media is a great way for consumers to contact you, don't wait for them to reach out. Use social media to initiate conversations with consumers and encourage them to visit your website. Ask for their input, thoughts, opinions and feedback on anything and everything related to your business. Once visitors reach your website, make sure they can easily access your contact info and get in touch with you. Consider offering more than one method of contact, such as a telephone number, email, or live chat customer service.
One of the best ways to serve consumers in the instant gratification era is through specifically targeted downloadable materials. Not only does it give consumers the information they are looking for, it is also mutually beneficial for you. By offering consumers downloadable content they are looking for, you can gather information about consumers and use it to improve their customer experience.
Consider the information your consumers are looking for and whether it can be provided to them in a condensed, downloadable format. If the information is lengthy, consider offering a downloadable ebook or whitepaper. In some cases, you don’t need to offer information. Rather, you can offer a coupon or discount code for signing up for your email list.
Providing your target audience with material you have prepared for them in exchange for their contact information (e.g., name, email address and birthday) gives them a sense that you really know and understand them and will encourage them to return to your site again and again. Plus, you can follow up with additional personalized offers and promotions to further nurture your consumer relationships.
Consumers respond to content that visually intrigues them. By using striking visuals in your social media, website and downloadable content, you can snag customers' attention and encourage them to interact with your brand. Consider adding infographics into your mix of content posted online, and use colors and eye-catching images to catch consumers’ eyes.
Video is also a great way to give information for instant gratification in both visual and audio format. By posting short videos to your social media sites, you can give consumers content, such as behind-the-scenes and how-to videos, without them having to search online and read through forums. You can also take advantage of live video streaming on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to host live Q&As and answer frequently asked questions regarding your business.
In the world of now, businesses that can offer consumers satisfaction immediately, or at least faster than competitors, are more likely to succeed. Take the time to optimize your online presence, marketing strategy and establish a plan that will improve your business operations for the instant gratification era. Most importantly, get to know your consumers and discover what they want from you and how you can provide it to them quickly and efficiently.