Your Customers Don’t Care How, They Just Want it NOW!
We all remember the sweet little girl, Veruca Salt in our childhood favorite movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory*. “I WANT IT NOW!” was one of her famous lines, and in today’s world, brand manufacturers / retailers are seeing their customers turn into Veruca Salt. Today’s ever-demanding customers that “WANT IT NOW!” have been conditioned from years of technological advances that gave customers what they wanted. This continuing snowball effect later evolved into when they wanted “it”, and eventually to how quickly and easily they can access “it”- coining the phrase “on-demand.
To provide an example of how technology has conditioned this demanding behavior over time, I would like to take you back to the days of Motown music (see figure below). Music was ultimately what teens of the 50’s wanted. Owning records and record players was the technology used to supply them. However, that was just the start.
Photo credit: Mr. Pop History
The 60’s gave consumers a chance to fast forward and listen to their favorite Beatles tune in their Chevys, something that was once a figment of their imagination. During the 70’s the Cassette allowed consumers to “rock all night, and party every day” with Walkman’s and other cassette playing technology. We all understand how this story ends, the CD takes over in the 80’s giving us digital quality sound and now we can skip tracks to head bang to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen over and over again. We eventually arrived to the destination of live steaming music and downloading high quality sound through our computers giving us access to millions of songs with the click of a button.
So what does this have to do with ecommerce? Well, if we look back at all this evolution there is one thing that stays common; customers wanted “something” (music in this case) and didn’t really have any attachment to the technology. Their attachment was to the fact that their music could get to them faster and more conveniently than ever before.
In today’s ecommerce world, consumers are the same way. They could care less about your IT infrastructure, or how much rack space you need to provide the essential amount of servers to keep your website running. What they care about is getting on your site, and purchasing a high quality product as quickly as possible. Your website should be as high quality as your in-store experience, much like Columbia Sportswear.
Brand manufacturers and retailers alike need to understand that having an enormous IT team and a slow moving in-house platform can no longer keep up with the needs of their customers. Retailers must continuously innovate in order to provide customers with a seamless multichannel experience. Customers must be in full control: having the ability to write reviews, use social media to flaunt their new Brooks Sports running shoes, and recommend products to friends. If you aren’t focused on providing the ultimate shopping experience, you are behind.
So how do brand manufacturers and retailers respond to such high expectations being driven by their very own loyal customers? The answer is providing a flexible, reliable, scalable and secure cloud-based digital commerce platform that minimizes the complexities and cost of running world-class global commerce operations. With a cloud-based platform, retailers get full control over multichannel functionality and user experience, as well as the time and resources to focus on innovation and driving growth. It is time to plug into the cloud and redirect your IT team to be creators and not maintenance men. Listen to your customers and simple put, GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT…NOW!
About the Author:
Brian Demelo is a business development representative for Demandware where he works on the frontline each and every day talking to retailers and brands about their digital commerce strategies.
*Willy Wonka & the Chocolate
Factory ™ & © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All other rights
reserved by their respective owners