How Convenient Is It For You Customers To Purchase From You?
Written by CMG News Contributor, Doug Carleton
Why get out of your Barcalounger when you can touch a button and purchase all kinds of things and have them delivered right to your door. Or at the absolute worst, heave yourself up and get in your car and go to the store and pick it up at the curb? At least that way, you don’t have to get out of your car, walk into the store, walk around looking for what you want to buy, and then god forbid, have to walk back to your car. You can even buy things like cars in some cases online now. You can get a virtual tour of the car, and if you like it, the dealer will bring it to you to look at and possibly take a test drive. You can visit your doctor virtually in many cases, avoiding the sometimes long wait times in the waiting room because the doctor never seems to be on time for your previously scheduled appointment.
There is a purpose in this slightly tongue-in-cheek recitation on today’s remarkable technology. As we begin to come out of the nightmare of the pandemic, one of the “new normals” has been that convenience and comfort have become a part of consumers’ lives, and that will probably be with us for a long time. So the question to ask yourself is, depending on what your product or service is, how convenient is it for your customers to purchase it? Many transactions today are initiated from a computer or smartphone. Is yours one of them? Have you looked at your competitors’ websites as if you were a potential purchaser to see how easy it would be to make a purchase? How do their sites look and work on your phone? How does yours?
Here is just one example of convenience that I found striking. A friend owns several apartments. Virtual tours of properties listed for sale or lease have become an effective tool in the arsenals of real estate agents. He had an apartment for rent. Eight people wanted to see it, seven of them were satisfied with a virtual tour. So the people looking for an apartment didn’t have to drive all over town to physically see an apartment, but more importantly, the owner didn’t have to make eight separate trips to the apartment to show it. Transfer that story to the larger real estate industry. Real estate agents can now carry out many showings virtually. These showings make it potentially much more convenient for the agent’s clients because they can eliminate some properties without wasting time seeing them physically. For the client, having their agent save them time can make them more loyal to that agent, and for the agent, those time savings could enable them to show more properties and make more sales. Being able to offer the convenience of virtual showing of properties can create increased income opportunities for the agent and added goodwill from clients.
This blog entry is a slightly edited excerpt from Doug Carleton's 'The Daily Life of the Small Business Owner' series. Doug was a mentor with SCORE, Startup Virginia, and Lighthouse Labs, and has 25+ years of experience in small business finance including 12 years in SBA lending. To contact Doug directly, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.