We have all heard that age-old expression “time is money” and in the modern age of digital, this expression has far more meaning than being just another cliché. With the never-ending stream of information that consumers are provided with on a daily basis, they have become more time-conscious than ever.

What this means is that people are spending their time wisely, applying this sense of urgency to even the way in which they shop. The service provider who is able to offer the consumer a solution immediately is the most likely to win the conversion.

We can see this trend on an ever-growing upwards spiral in Google Mobile Searches where there has been a 200% increase in search terms containing “open” + “now” + “near me” over the past two years.(1)

This need for urgency doesn’t just apply to people making purchases; the modern-day impatient consumer wants immediate access to information through their conversion path. They require access to product information before the purchase as well as feedback and customer service immediately afterwards.

Over 60% of today’s consumers expect brands to provide them with all of the information that they need when they need it. (2). This provides marketers with a unique opportunity to close the gap between customer expectations and reality. Brands and marketers that are able and willing to provide immediate assistance will build trust and be appreciated by their customers, thereby earning the sale.

© wisitporn via 123RF.com.

Our first step

Our first step towards building these valuable relationships as marketers is to find out exactly what the people want. While search cannot be proclaimed as a fortune teller, the data that Google Search provides is extraordinarily accurate in relation to making informed predictions to consumer needs.

  • Product availability. “Can I/to buy” + “near me” mobile searches have grown over 600% in the last two years (3)
  • Status updates. Over the past two years, mobile searches for “track” + “package” have grown by over 120%. For example: “track my package” and “track a package.”(4)
  • Instant customer service. “24/7” + “customer service” mobile searches have grown over 400% in the last two years. (5)

With this data, we as marketers are better positioned to anticipate the needs of consumers and are therefore able to provide customers with valuable information and resources when they want it.

Be there for them

88% of consumers are more favourable towards brands that provide them with information along every step of the conversion path. (6) For the impatient customer, these easily implemented steps lead to greater returns for marketers.

  • Be immediately available. From product pages to local inventory feeds, ensure you have real-time information about where products are available and how many are in stock.
  • Be immediately relevant. Ensure you’re showing up in the critical moments of intent throughout the purchase journey. That could be fully embracing automation to only run ads for products that are actually available (and pulling ads for products that aren’t). Or it could be as simple as anticipating the type of help pages shoppers are most likely to ask for.
  • Be immediately transparent. When you can’t compete on shipping times, ensure it’s extremely easy for potential consumers to find information about when they can expect to have their impatient needs met. From ad copy to product and help pages, set expectations for shipping times, customer service availability, and live tracking. Post-sale, engage today’s impatient consumer with access to status updates and 24/7 assistance.

It is of great risk to brands that are unable or unwilling to adapt to these changes in consumer behaviour. The consumer calls the shots in the sales journey and brands that fail to recognise this will lose revenue as impatient customers venture off and look for brands that are able to assist them.

(1) Google Data, U.S., July 2015–Dec. 2015 vs. July 2017–Dec. 2017.
(2) Google/Greenberg, U.S., “Rising Expectations in Consumer Brand Experiences,” n=1,500, 18–64 years old, March 2018.
(3) Google Data, U.S., July 2015–Dec. 2015 vs. July 2017–Dec. 2017.
(4) and (5) Google Data, U.S., April 2015–March 2016 vs. April 2017–March 2018.
(6) Google/Greenberg, U.S., “Rising Expectations in Consumer Brand Experiences,” n=1,500, 18–64 years old, March 2018.