Today, I had an interesting realization in the strangest of places and it’s a pretty weird story, so sit back and hold on to your hats.
It’s 9:30am and I need to get to a meeting a couple suburbs away, so I tap my phone and summon an Uber. The app tells me that because I’m a regular customer, I’ve been upgraded for free to Uber Select and the driver is three minutes away.
Uber is pretty commonplace now, but I think we sometimes forget just how unbelievable this capability really is.
Living in a major city, you literally have thousands of people in their own cars within minutes drive of you waiting for their phone to tell them to come get you and take you somewhere else across the city.
Or you might hop into an app on your phone, find one of a couple dozen local restaurants, order your dinner and that same person waiting to drive you somewhere, could instead bring you your food.
Growing up, we lived a few hundred metres from a strip mall, we’d duck down to the convenience store to buy milk or soft drinks if the grocery store was closed.
Today, my wife said to me that we should get Dropwash to come tomorrow and grab a few kilos of laundry. Yeah, there’s an app where I hit a button and they come to my door, pick up a couple bags of laundry, then two days later bring it back washed, dried and folded. I don’t even have to pay them, the money comes out of my Paypal account based on the weight of my laundry.
The best example of the way the world has changed came the other day when I realized that we’d run out of toilet paper in the house. I hate when that happens and I always usually “oversupply” and buy like 30 rolls packages in response.
I found myself frustrated and thinking, I wonder if there’s a service that delivers toilet paper on a regular basis. I get my razors delivered like that, so why not TP?
Sure enough, there’s an Australian company that’s branched out to the US and UK called, “Who Gives a Crap”. They make and sell high-end, three-ply toilet paper – it’s 100% recycled or made from bamboo or sugarcane fibres and 50% of all of their profits go to building toilets and sewage in the third world.
“Who Gives a Crap” will deliver to you every 8, 12 or 16 weeks, depending on your requirements or they’ll sell you a discount.
I literally found myself frustrated by a lack of toilet paper and found a recurring delivery program with a social mission for toilet paper.
This is the world we now inhabit.
Does this impact your business?
You’re damn straight it does.
I might be a bit out an outlier, but Dollar Shave Club sold for a cool $1B to Unilever last year, so someone sees a future in delivering razors to people on a monthly basis.
You need to figure this out and adapt to it – I know I’m thinking about it.
As someone that runs an online business, the rate at which people want stuff is even faster than offline businesses.
I got grumpy when an Uber Eats driver took 45 minutes to deliver my Mexican food and it arrived cold. I sent Uber Eats a tweet and they acknowledged the driver didn’t deliver my food in a timely manner and refunded me the full price of the meal.
My app didn’t bring me my bespoke Mexican meal quickly enough and I was unimpressed.
In the cold light of day, that’s both crazy and understandable. I spent $45 on a service and the driver decided to collect my meal and deliver two other people’s orders before mine in different suburbs. I could see where he was driving and so this fueled my dissatisfaction.
Think back to 10 years ago, you would have ordered food, it would have taken a bit longer than you would have liked, you would have heated it up in the microwave and complained to your wife or girlfriend about poor quality service.
Now, I go on Twitter, send a message to Uber Eats that my 10,000 Twitter followers see and within ten minutes, they’ve refunded my $45.
We don’t just expect convenience, we expect hyper-convenience at incredible quality levels.
As business owners, we need to meet our customers where they’re at, and right now, they’re at the place where they want the things they want immediately and with incredible quality.
I’m not saying you have to change your business to suit that, you just need to know it’s coming and have a strategy to address that requirement.