We just published a report called Engage Gen Y Online With Immediacy which examines one of the four design approaches that we’ve outlined for reaching Gen Y: Immediacy (the others design approaches are Gen Y literacy, individualism, and interactivity). The research examined the online experiences of a handful of retailers, auto insurers, auto makers, and wireless carriers to find positive examples of the following three strategies for immediacy:
- Refresh and update content constantly. Changing content frequently and updating feature page elements on a regular basis give users a reason to return over time.
- Expose value immediately. Delivering clear calls to action and interactive cues help draw young visitors into experiences right away.
- Provide frequent feedback. Presenting notifications, rewards, and other feedback to users throughout an experience keeps them alert and engaged.
Here are some examples of immediacy best practices that we found:
- AT&T displays updated lists of its newest and most popular phones.
- Several insurers start the quoting process right on their homepages.
- Old Navy provides an online only “sneak peak” at upcoming styles.
- Victoria’s Secret’s “Dress Shop” section provides pictures of products as users roll over navigation options for dress types.
- Zappos’ checkout highlights that some items are almost out of stock.
- Scion’s “Tweaks Of The Week” showcases vehicle modifications submitted by actual Scion owners.
- Old Navy engages users with recommendations to “complete the outfit.”
- Allstate provides a quick path to value by offering the choice to “get ballpark estimates without giving your name.”
- T-Mobile provides an interactive slider and buttons on its homepage to select plans.
I need to give a shout out to Andrew McInnes who was the researcher on this project (which means he did most of the work) and to Ross Popoff-Walker who worked with me on defining the Gen Y design strategies.
The bottom line: Give Gen Y what they want: immediate gratification.