Fast life The cult of immediacy
“Millennials are growing up with an understanding that you can click and find, click and know, click and buy. And that has to change your mentality and mindset as a consumer.”
Paul Berney, of the Mobile Marketing Association at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona (February 2014).
“Same-day delivery doesn’t have to be a luxury. It’s a convenience that everyone should be able to enjoy, and that means across lots of stores, across lots of cities and across lots of products … We’re eagerly starting to move forward on some of our next steps for expansion.”
Tom Fallows, director of product management for Google Shopping Express (Reuters, 20 March 2014).
In a society where time has become scarce, consumers are no longer willing to wait. Today, brands and retailers have no choice but to adapt to the new need for immediacy, and so they have developed new solutions such as same-day delivery, real-time updates, no shipping delays and one-click information access, among others. According to an ISA study, 79% of French people consider a good delivery to be one that is done in the same day. The urge to share, the desire to get anything anywhere at anytime and the instinct to instantly find information are consumer shifts that mobile devices have clearly intensified. Texting, multimedia messaging and mobile web browsers have dramatically whetted the collective appetite for getting what we want, when we want it– and when we want it is now. The culture of the ‘everywhere-anytime’ access to the Internet is offering ever more opportunities for consumers to get what they desire easily, rapidly, and seamlessly.
According to an ISA study, 79% of French people consider a good delivery to be one that is done in the same day.
Whether looking for the nearest coffee shop, attending a concert, or discovering a great deal from a nearby retailer, customers depend on their smartphones to make their daily life easier. Access to instant information, updates, reviews, services and even rewards is becoming crucial for customers willing to live fast. Successful retailers will be those that manage to improve the quality of their supply chain in order to bring products into the hands of consumers as quickly as possible.
The demand for instant gratification is the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment. Consumers expect to find services, products, and information they want quickly and easily. Interactions are easier than ever with smartphones and social networks that enable brands to reach their customers intimately, anywhere and anytime. And augmented reality technology and the associated mobile apps have facilitated such expectations : consumers now simply need to hold their smartphone over the item to extract digitally embedded information. A recent Cassandra Report survey found that 56% of young consumers want instant gratification. Brick-and-mortar stores are using instant gratification by allowing people to order online and pickup in stores, then offering the same level of convenience and time-saving of online shopping. Walmart’s Site to Store service is very popular, with over 50% of their online customers choosing in-store pickup.
A recent Cassandra Report survey found that 56% of young consumers want instant gratification. Brick-and-mortar stores are using instant gratification with the option to order online and in-store pickup in stores.
Consumers are also increasingly willing to pay extra for faster delivery and want choices when it comes to shipping. If shoppers can’t instantly receive the product or service they are getting from a brand, they are willing to visualize the finished result so that they can already benefit from the purchase. According to a Procter & Gamble survey, female consumers who are also mothers get an average of just 26 minutes per day to themselves. The more time brands allow them to save when they have an issue or need something, the more loyal they will be.
Skipping over the need to ask or search entirely, geolocation technology allows smartphone users to immediately locate a place, an item or a retail discount. According to a Forrester survey, mobile users expect their apps to take advantage of mobile-specific features like location. Whether looking for the nearest coffee shop, attending a concert, or discovering a great deal from a nearby retailer, customers depend on their smartphones to make their daily life easier. The implementation of geolocation in mobile and web apps has come a long way since the early days of Google Maps and its Latitude app. It is actually Foursquare that triggered the momentum back to 2009; in January 2014, the app had over 45 million users and more than 5 billion check-ins registered, as stated in website Business Insider.
According to the Pew Institute, 74% of adult smartphone owners aged 18 and older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location.
Now, a multitude of new apps are using location data to enhance the user experience or to solve potential issues. Capabilities include local searches (taxi, coffee shop, car park, etc.), push notifications (deals, coupons) and social media (networking, dating). The use of a geolocation feature is more than a nice-to-have option on a smartphone or tablet, it has become part of the routine. According to the Pew Institute, 74% of adult smartphone owners aged 18 and older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location. Notably, as mobile devices, networks, and geolocation functionality become more entwined, there is a rise in the contextual awareness that allows mobile apps to automatically adjust features and usability to whatever situation or environment a mobile user is in. Much of this context awareness is driven by feedback from mobile devices, and can lead to apps (like Google Now) reading the behaviors and habits of users.
Amazon Prime Air
Amazon launched Prime Air, a futuristic drone-based delivery service that aims to complete deliveries in 30 minutes or less. The company has been developing the multirotor Miniature Unmanned Air Vehicle (Miniature UAV) technology, which is intended to utilize GPS to autonomously fly individual packages to customers’ doorsteps within 30 minutes of ordering. To qualify for 30-minute delivery, the order must be less than five pounds, which includes 86% of the packages Amazon currently sells. The order must also be small enough to fit in the cargo box that the craft will carry, and the delivery location must be within a ten-mile radius of a participating Amazon order fulfillment center.
United States, December 2013
Bar à Styles
Time-pressed beauty consumers can now experience professional salon hairdressing without sacrificing their time. French hair salon chain Jean-Louis David just unveiled its new “Bar à Styles,” a service delivering an express hairdo in only 15 minutes. No appointment is necessary; customers just need to walk in and ask for a quick hair fix, and best of all, the service costs only 15 euros.
France, April 2014
Home furniture brands have been allowing consumers to virtually visualize 3D furniture in their homes for quite some time now. However, Israeli company Cimagine has gone a step further. It is the first true markerless mobile platform for instant visualization of items of interest over their intended locations in realistic 3D. People no longer need to use a marker, they simply need to browse catalogs and select the product to be displayed in a 3D environment. To do so, the app uses the camera of the smartphone or tablet to analyze the user’s environment in real time and enable them to position the product at any place.
Israel, May 2014
Google Shopping Express
Google Shopping Express is a same-day shopping service. According to the brand, it allows people to “shop local stores online and get items delivered on the same day”. It was launched on a free trial basis in San Francisco and Silicon Valley in spring 2013 and then publicly in September that year. The service is currently rolling out to consumers in Manhattan and West Los Angeles. As part of a promotional package, Google is promising new sign-up users six months of free unlimited delivery. A bunch of New York-based stores are participating to the initiative including Costco, Walgreens, Target, and Fairway Market.
United States, September 2013
@WhereNext by Heineken
Heineken launched a new Twitter-based campaign addressing Millennials’ FOMO — “fear of missing out”– phenomenon. The idea is to inform users of their city’s hottest spots to hang out. They simply have to tweet @wherenext and geo-tag their city location and the service will send them real time recommendations of where to go using an algorithm that listens to social media activity, such as tweets, check-ins and photos across platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare and analyzes which locations are trending. The social tool evolved as an extension of Heineken’s recent “Cities of the World” campaign, attempting to assuage the anxiety of missing out on the action– which is, ironically, caused by social media.
Netherlands, July 2014
The food delivery startup SpoonRocket clear claims to be the fastest and “most convenient meal ever”. Users just need order online or via the mobile app a meal from a selection of healthy options, and the meals are generally delivered within a few minutes. Food is kept warm thanks to specialized heating compartments that are actually built into its cars. Success is so high that during their first dinner party in San Franciscoin July 2014, their website crashed due to an insane volume of traffic! SpoonRocket’s competitors include Sprig, Chefler, and Munchery.
United States, November 2013
Business & Marketing guidelines
|Get in touch with shoppers as quickly as possible and provide prompt responses to customer questions or complaints. Quickly provide them with the satisfaction of at least letting them know they were heard—even if you can’t instantly solve their problem.|
|While businesses have already started doing it via live chat, SMS alerts, 24-7 hotlines, and social media, brick-and-mortar retailers must enable in-store associates to give instant, real-time information to shoppers. Train your staff to tread the fine line between being helpful, and being overbearing.|
|Find ways to streamline and speed up order fulfillment so they can get products into customers’ hands as quickly as possible.|
|Automate your marketing campaigns: schedule follow-up push notifications to automatically re-engage users on a frequent time base, with content tailored to them hours or days later.|
|Never sacrifice quality for speed.|
|Use geolocation data in all aspects of your business, not only for ad targeting: analize your store’s traffic flow, measure a campaign’s performance to see how it affects customer visits, track customer wait times at the check-out register, etc.|
|Give more value to your customer service. Time-crunched shoppers are faced with often overwhelming or confusing choices, making customer service increasingly important.|
- In a society where time has become scarce, consumers are no longer willing to wait. Today, brands and retailers have no choice but to adapt to the need for immediacy.
- Consumers expect to find services, products, and information they want quickly and easily. Both offline and online shops help customer save time by providing online ordering, in-store pick up, same-day delivery, real-time updates, no shipping delays, one-click information access and augmented reality.
- A recent Cassandra Report survey found that 56% of young consumers want instant gratification.
- According to an ISA study, 79% of French people consider a good delivery to be one that is done in the same day.
- With no need to ask nor search, geolocation technology enables smartphone users to immediately locate a place, an item or a retail discount. Now, a multitude of new apps are using location data to enhance the user experience or to solve potential issues.
Experts that we recommend
German sociologist and philosopher & author of book Aliénation et accélération : vers une théorie critique de la modernité tardive (La Découverte, 2012)
American author of book The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2014)
Partner at EY & co-author of study Du consommateur au co-créateur (EY, 2012)