Engaging Gen Y With Immediacy

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Expose value immediately. Delivering clear calls to action and interactive cues help draw young visitors into experiences right away.
  3. 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.

Written by 

I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

6 thoughts on “Engaging Gen Y With Immediacy”

  1. Hi Bruce – Another company doing some interesting work/research with Gen Y is Steelcase. I spent some time with James Ludwig, their VP of Global Design recently. (He spoke at our annual Collaborative Innovation Summit in October.) With changing work habits, people living longer and “retirement” a thing of the past, Steelcase is looking at designing future work environments where basically, four generations will need to work together in the same space.

    The video of James’ conversation with BusinessWeek’s Bruce Nussbaum can be found here : http://tinyurl.com/6yvujg It was an interesting talk and well worth the watch.

    Cheers – Chris

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.