Amazon have built their brand on the understanding that modern consumers are willing to pay to get what they want as fast as possible. With Amazon Prime, for instance, consumers pay $119 per year for two-day shipping. Since its launch in 2005, 100 million people have signed up for the service.
Consumers demand instant gratification. Google has seen a 120% increase in users searching for “same day shipping”, “flights today” and “hotels tonight” since 2015. Instant gratification is the new normal, and it’s not just in terms of purchasing products. Speed plays a huge role in customer engagement. If something takes too long to load, consumers will switch off. YouTube users will close a video if it there’s a delay of two seconds. Google has found that if a webpage takes longer than four seconds to load, most people will exit out of it. For this reason, Google ensures that only the fastest loading sites rank highly on their results page, as a slow-loading site will leave users with a negative impression of both the site and the search engine itself.
Our preference for instant results is neurological. We are wired to act on the ‘pleasure principle’, a system which ensures we satisfy our needs, wants and urges. When we desire something – even if it’s not a biological necessity like food or water – we feel anxious until we get it. When we get what we’re looking for – whether that’s a product, service or information – dopamine is triggered which makes us feel happy and encourages us to satisfy more desires. So, if your product can offer the consumer that dopamine hit, they’re likely to want more as soon as that initial hit wears off.
While delayed gratification strengthens a rebel entrepreneur’s character, businesses can tap into their customers’ preference for instant gratification to make their products scalable. For a competitive edge, rebel entrepreneurs can incorporate speed into every element of their business – delivery, social media, customer service. Great businesses sell products that make life easy, but if you can optimise the process and make it instant, your customers will be much more engaged.