Consumer’s Need for Instant Gratification – H&W Impact
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
Consumers are living in a reality where they don’t have to wait to download an audio book, stream the latest movie, or get their groceries delivered in a matter of hours. In fact, large retailers are working hard to satisfy the need for immediate gratification by providing same day delivery, even as fast as within two hours. This desire for convenience and immediacy will be a key factor in shaping the future of retail.
But what will the potential impact be on delivering health and well-being programs?
Managing a health condition takes time and positive changes are not often apparent until after months of eating right. Recognizing the environment related to instant gratification will require retail dietitians to think through what this really means for customers and for how they deliver educational programming. Success in the instant gratification era will depend on navigating the interchange between offline and online worlds to deliver fast solutions and experiences for today’s shoppers.
But is instant gratification enough to drive customer loyalty?
Some experts believe creating relationships beyond the immediate transaction will provide the most reward. This means offering more personalization, superb loyalty programs and communicating corporate values that align with customers. Think about this in terms of “constant gratification” vs. instant. To move in this direction, ask yourself these questions about your H&W services:
- Are we providing online and instore consistency? Consumers want to see similarities whether they are online shopping or visiting the store. Ensure your wellness resources are similar in both places. If you have instore nutritional attribute tags, are these also displayed online? Are recipes and meal tips available in both places to make shopping for meal ingredients easier?
- Can shoppers get help when needed? “Help me now” is another way to provide ongoing gratification to your customers. Prompt responses to H&W inquiries, referrals to resources and consultations, whether online or instore, provide shoppers with the satisfaction of knowing their concerns are heard.
- Do you build H&W experiences? Consumers are looking for great experiences to make their life healthier and more enjoyable. Giant Foods, for example, recently launched a new program called Local Produce Boxes where locally grown, in-season produce can be ordered for $20 through GiantFood.com. This program not only delivers healthy fruits and vegetables in a quick and convenient way but also shows the company’s commitment to supporting local farmers and promoting affordable healthy food. Take it a step further by adding in produce storage information and relevant recipe ideas.
- Do you think holistically? What companies you could partner with to deliver holistic H&W solutions. The right partnerships can open up new opportunities for brands to provide tailored experiences and meet individual H&W demands. Could healthy snack boxes be provided through local gyms? What about promoting quick and healthy meal ideas to working parents through local daycare centers? Brainstorm ideas with your team to understand what the ROI may be.
The shift toward a constant gratification culture is happening as today’s consumers are exposed to choices and immediately gratifying experiences. Retail RDNs should look at the way they deliver H&W programing to meet consumer needs and create interactions and relationships that will ultimately result in greater customer loyalty and spending.