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.

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I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey.

Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum.

My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers.

I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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

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