Attaining loyalty: the strive for shorter visits

The Hanson family, a frequent buyer of food online suddenly switched their engagement from one web store to another. They ended up with exactly the same groceries, delivered the same day at a higher cost. Did they feel disappointed? Mislead? Quite the opposite actually. Finally they felt satisfied with the routine for real.

That was odd, wasn’t it?

To solve this mystery, the first web store hired a web detective who paid a visit to the Hanson family.

“Why did you change supplier for your food purchases?” the detective asked, sitting next to Mrs. Hanson in their living room.” Isn’t price important for a frequent buyer like you? I mean, even a few eurocents a week make a big difference over time.”

Mrs. Hanson nodded slowly.

“Price matters of course. But something else matters too… In fact you´ve just mentioned a clue yourself” she said with a cryptically smile and got up from her chair. “Would you care for some expensive coffee bought online?”

Without giving him a chance to answer she headed for the kitchen.

The web detective felt frustrated, anxious to get the answer from Mrs. Hanson. He hated these home visits. All this time spent sitting in someone’s living room drinking coffee while trying to find the right clues. What was the damn clue in his phrase earlier?

“I m sorry I left you in such despair all this time” Mrs. Hanson said when she finally arrived carrying a tray with coffee and Maryland cookies into the room. “Time badly spent makes you feel frustrated, doesn’t it?”

Her words made the token drop down.

“It time, isn’t it? The clue, I mean” the detective said victorious.

“You bet it is”, she answered. “You see, at the first web store you could not save a basic shopping list and reuse it. The procedure of having to write down a new list every week was time consuming. The other web store had this and other smart features to speed up the purchase.  Since we do the purchases several times a month, these features get important over time. We started buying food online for a reason, you know.”

“To save time, I guess?”

“Exactly. Saving time includes more than avoiding visits to the local store every week. By engaging in the second web store we saved time at home as well. They also presented the groceries in a much nicer way which turned online food shopping to a pleasant experience instead of a tedious one.”

The web detective felt satisfied. This turned out to be a quick visit after all.

“Thank you, Mrs. Hanson. I believe our case is closed.”

<em>People use the web for many reasons. One reason is to save time. Time not having to be spent queuing in a food store every week for example. If your customers are willing to pay for time saving, don´t waste their time online. Provide them only with content and features helping them solve their problem quicker. You will make their lifes easier and in return they will reward you by being loyal to you even if your offer is not the cheapest one out there.</em>