Quickness as a success factor
Why do people want to get a washing machine right after buying it?
The quickness of the delivery was the essential item on the Board's agenda. The company provides logistic service – the delivery of oversized and heavy items such as furniture, household appliances, and finishing materials – for online marketplaces. As a chairman of the strategic committee, I conducted the discussion, and it was complex. A part of the committee members believed that nobody needs to get a dishwasher or a roll of wallpaper quickly, and accuracy of delivery time should be our competitive advantage. If we promise a customer to bring their purchase between 3 and 6 pm, we must show up at the door precisely within this interval, and that's enough.

But the numbers provided by marketplaces said otherwise – decreasing the delivery time of large-size items increases sales. People in big cities are happy to get their washing machines and wardrobes delivered the next day after purchase or even the same day. Hence, our major customers pushed us to provide ultra-fast delivery service on a regular basis. And even though there were some skeptics in our strategic committee, I believe that in the nearest future all the logistic providers will learn to deliver goods fast, regardless of their size and weight (even if it's very hard to do), or they will disappear for good.

Impatient people
Why are people so impatient and can't wait for a day or two? Once again, it refers us to human nature, to psychology. Let's imagine a woman buying a bed. We don't buy beds every day, so, apparently, it is a big deal for her. Moreover, the bed is where we spend many hours every night. It is possible that the woman believes that the quality of the mattress is vital for her sleep and, hence, for her health and mood. So, she should choose the mattress very carefully. She probably thinks a good bed may help improve her romantic relationship with her partner. Good beds are commonly expensive, so she has to find a balance between price and quality, etc. She's afraid of making the wrong choice. As you can see, positive or negative emotions, expectations, fears, and dreams are involved as a person buys such a simple thing as a bed. Furthermore, it calls for careful reflection and calculation.

That's why the process of choosing typically takes such a long time. There are so many options on the market, but people want to make the right choice. And eventually, this day comes – the woman makes a final decision; she chooses the bed she wants. She comes to a store or buys the bed online. And what happens next? She gets a message that her purchase will be delivered in, say, three or five days. What will these five days mean to her? They are 120 hours of useless and painful waiting. Yet, psychologically she is already in possession of the bed. She chose it, and she paid for it. Why can't she use it right away? Why does she have to wait for such a long time?

We hate waiting
Young children don't know what the word "wait" means. When they want something, they demand it immediately, and if kids don't get it, they articulate their discontent explicitly and loudly. As we grow up, we learn to be more patient and to take somebody's else desires and needs into account (it is called "socialization"). We study to wait for the things we need because they rarely come right away. But "to be able to wait" and "to love to wait" are totally different. Deep inside, we are still young children, and we hate when someone or something postpones the fulfilment of our desires.

Sometimes waiting can become pleasant anticipation. For instance, you adore a band, and you bought a ticket for its concert that will take place in a month. Your daydreams about the future event may bring you some bright emotions. But it hardly ever happens when it comes to purchases. If I buy a car, I want to enjoy driving it at once, and if I buy a piece of furniture, I would like to admire it in my flat the same evening.

As soon as a market player finds a way to deliver goods faster than others, this delivery speed delivery quickly becomes an industry standard. The competitors either keep up or quit. It happens because customers don't want to wait. When a company shows them that they can get their purchases quicker, they immediately start expecting the same delivery speed from any supplier. Quickness, consequently, become a success factor for many markets. If you want your firm to be successful – help it become faster.

To be continued.

Svyatoslav Biryulin

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