Millennials, those aged 18 to 34, now make up the largest percentage segment of the U.S. population – 27%.
These internet savvy impatient consumers armed with smartphones, and soon to be smartwatches, want instant gratification. They are also contributing to the growth of Big Data, Predictive Analytics, and Mobile Marketing. To survive, companies will have to evolve into becoming more active and engaged with these on-the-go shoppers who expect to be able to get what they want when they want it. Whoever can respond with speed and accuracy will win.
The concept of the “Internet of Things” is the new efficient, connected, and hyper-responsive science of making this happen. This is the reality of the next revolution in the customer supply chain. If a company cannot demonstrate that they can deliver a product quickly, consumers will move on to their competition – those who can.
Amazon’s foray into delivery by drone is another pioneering strategy that will accelerate this concept. Theoretically, you will be able to place an order online, for shoes let’s say, and shortly thereafter you will get a text message advising that a drone will be swinging by in a few minutes to drop off your order. If you have children they will really like to witness the arrival of the order-laden copter, as much as you will.
This may seem to be a radical change, but it is inevitable. That’s what planning is all about – anticipating the inevitable, not waiting for it to happen and then slowly reacting to it while the competition lures your customers away with faster better service. Heightened customer expectations are driving these changes.
If you are not engaged with your customers and can see their changing requirements evolving, you don’t have a customer-centric culture. If the customer gets to the future before you do, they will leave you behind.
What are you doing to be able to deliver your customers online orders with blazing speed?