Satisfying the “Instant Gratification Generation”: A Retail and Ecommerce Guide

Author

Christine Hannivan

Date

Reading time

5 mins
Satisfying the “Instant Gratification Generation”: A Retail and Ecommerce Guide

With the digital transformation of the last decade or so, we’ve seen a significant shift in retail and ecommerce where speed and convenience are not just luxuries but expectations. Dubbed the “Instant Gratification Generation,” today's consumers demand quick, hassle-free shopping experiences, whether they're browsing online or strolling through physical stores. 

In this guide, we’ll look at a few approaches that retailers and ecommerce platforms can adopt to meet these high expectations and explore how businesses can adapt to satisfy the desires of this new generation of shoppers. 

Tips for Increasing Instant Gratification in Retail and Ecommerce

Satisfying customers who want and expect everything now isn’t easy, especially for small-to-mid-sized retailers that might not have an endless pool of time, money, and resources to spend on implementing and testing changes to their stores and shopping experiences. 

As an ecommerce agency with years of experience helping our clients make sure their customers are happy and satisfied at every touch point, here are our best tips for satisfying the Instant Gratification Generation. 

Set Up a Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) Program

This hybrid shopping option allows customers to browse and purchase products online at their leisure and pick them up at a physical store location, often within the same day. Implementing BOPIS effectively requires a seamless integration of online and offline systems, ensuring real-time inventory updates and quick in-store processing. At a time where many people prefer to shop with their fingers rather than their feet, BOPIS offers customers a convenient shopping experience, reduces delivery costs, and drives foot traffic to physical stores.

A well-implemented BOPIS program is a one-way ticket to increased sales and happy customers. Merchants can use a program like this to cater to everything from an emergency purchase – think: “Oh no, my webcam just broke, and my job interview is this afternoon!” to making it faster to collect last night’s online shopping impulse purchases.

Maintain Accurate Inventory Visibility Online 

One of the biggest challenges in online retail is managing customer expectations regarding product availability. To ensure customer satisfaction, businesses must maintain accurate and real-time inventory visibility across all channels. 

This transparency allows customers to see the availability of products in both the warehouse and store, reducing the chances of order cancellations or delays due to stock issues. Implementing advanced inventory management systems can help to achieve this goal.

Consider getting set up with a Point of Sale system like Shopify POS, which offers enhanced inventory and multi-location management features to give you better visibility on stock levels at both your warehouse and store(s) so you can pass that along to your shoppers on your product cards and pages. 

Quote Accurate Delivery Timelines on the Product Card

Along with accurate inventory visibility comes quoting accurate delivery times on the product card. This allows customers to have clear expectations about when they will receive their products. 

This clarity helps reduce customer anxiety, increases the likelihood of a positive shopping experience, and gives your customer service team a break by reducing the number of WISMO – “Where is my order?” questions that come with shopping online. 

Offer Same-Day Delivery via Courier

You can’t follow through on your goal to increase and improve instant gratification without making it as easy and quick as possible for your customers to actually receive the products they buy. Impulse buying is one thing, but the disappointment a person can feel after realizing they’ll have to wait a day or two to receive their items can really sting or, worse, tempt them to initiate an order cancellation. 

We mentioned that harnessing the power of a BOPIS program is a great way to cater to a wide variety of shoppers, but not everyone can – or wants to – get off the couch and pick up everything they buy online.

Partnering with a courier service is a great way to bridge the gap between BOPIS and having to rely on shipping services that won’t be able to get your customer’s orders to them in less than two days, making the classic impulse buy a lot more fun and convenient for your online shoppers and satisfy the hefty demands of today’s consumer. 

Offer “Buy with Prime”

Buy with Prime is an app you can add to your Shopify store to unlock the ability to harness Amazon’s shipping network for purchases made on your own website. All that’s required is some initial setup on your end and for your shoppers to be Amazon Prime members themselves. 

Additionally, Buy with Prime Assist takes this convenience even further by allowing merchants to offload basic customer service to Amazon as well, so they can spend more time handling more product-specific and store-specific questions rather than the usual repeat questions customers have regarding order status and shipment issues. 

For retailers looking to increase instant gratification in ecommerce and cater to today’s customer demands, offering the same level of service as a retail behemoth like Amazon can provide is a great way to ensure you get repeat customers. 

Offer Free Returns In-Store

A customer-friendly return policy is essential for customer satisfaction and loyalty. Offering free in-store returns, even for items purchased online, provides customers with a convenient and risk-free shopping experience. This policy can also drive additional traffic to your physical stores, potentially leading to more in-store purchases.

This new generation of shoppers still likes to head out and shop but often view physical stores as showrooms, where they can go and see, touch, and try out products before making a decision to buy. 

Making it easy to return items in-store makes it easier for customers to spend more time browsing around your wares and could easily equate to a sale – especially for those who view getting their money back as now having extra cash that they already mentally spent to purchase something new. 

Let people shop online, but put some effort into creating exciting, personalized experiences in-store for when shoppers need to pass by – even if it's just to return a product they changed their mind about. 

Include a Return Shipping Label in Parcels

Sure, no one wants or likes returns, but not including a return label in your shipped orders makes it much harder for your customers to send back anything that isn’t working for them or that doesn’t fit. If someone doesn’t want something, make it as simple as possible for them to get the item back to you. 

As a consumer, returning an online order is already complicated enough. From not having the right packing materials to the possibility of not having a home printer available to print out the necessary label, people will often not bother to return the item at all. While costing the merchant less, this can also leave a bad impression on the customer. Combat this by offering to help with the process and include the return label in the box to begin with. 

This way, if an order doesn’t work out, the shopper can just put the item(s) back in the box or mailer it came in, reseal it, attach the included label, and drop it off at the post office the next time they head out. Easy!

Conclusion

Catering to the Instant Gratification Generation requires a thoughtful blend of technology, customer-centric strategies, and a deep understanding of modern shopping behaviors. By implementing programs like BOPIS, maintaining accurate inventory, offering rapid and convenient delivery options, and simplifying returns, retailers and ecommerce businesses can create a shopping experience that resonates with today's shoppers. 

When it comes to getting started with these tips, look no further than Blue Badger. As an agency with years of experience in the ecommerce space, we can help you build out tools and solutions to turn casual shoppers into repeat customers. Offering services like design and development of custom themes, strategy, conversion rate optimization, performance marketing, and more, let us help you build an ecommerce ecosystem that you can rely on. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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