Buying trends emerge online over time to give business owners, product developers, and marketers clues as to the kinds of things that sell and the strategies that perform best in putting the products into the hands of the customer.
One trend that many have noticed of late is the attraction of “simple and easy” with regard to online purchases. It seems that the public prefers to buy products that are easy to use, easy to understand, take little or no set up or skill to activate, and that are simple to maintain.
Why does this trend seem to be so prevalent? Is it that the population is generally lazy? Do we not have the time to worry about learning to use and care for things? Are there better uses of our discretionary time?
In the information age, that is only just beginning, the challenge that we all face seems to be the overabundance of data and the length of time it takes to sort it out and prioritize it to make some sense of it all and turn it into useful and practical decision making ammunition.
The sad truth, it seems, is that most people would prefer to have both “thinking” and “doing” tasks removed from their plate altogether.
Why spend valuable time and energy learning how to recycle home waste and then force the family to go the extra mile to sort garbage and maintain a compost pile when you can simply buy a pickup load of manure and have it delivered to you and spread by someone else for a small fee?
Why take the time to learn how to play the piano when you can just pop in a CD and listen to all the piano music you like?
Why go to the effort of making dinner for the family when it’s so convenient to stop in at Wendy’s and have everything handled by someone else?
It’s so simple and easy and convenient to have everything done for you. Just pay the man and he’ll take care of everything.
This same philosophy or mindset holds true online as well.
I don’t want to take the time to learn graphic design and HTML. I’ll just pay a firm to get my web site up and running.
I don’t want software that enables me to send a weekly message to my mailing list. I’ll just hire a firm to draft and distribute the message for me.
Are you kidding? Do my own taxes? No way! I pay the accountants to handle all that stuff for me.
If you figure out how to do something valuable for the consumer, without any intervention required on his part, you will have a “hot” service business or product in the making.
I think this mindset is partly responsible for the popularity of online step-by-step instructions for important tasks. Customers want to be led by the hand, be told where to go, and exactly how to do something.
They don’t care to be confused by facts, or be required to think in order to solve a problem. They just want to pay someone else to expend the effort to get the thing completed.
Laziness? Simply a lack of time to be involved? Priorities (i.e. by having something done for me, it frees up my time to do something else that’s a higher priority for my time)? Lack of interest in learning a new skill, technique, art, process, etc?
I don’t have the answer – I would imagine that some or all of the above apply in most cases.
What I do know is that if you are struggling to find a niche business idea, the key may be in identifying some task or procedure that many people need to have done but don’t want to do themselves.
Figure out how to do this thing for them (through software automation possibly), charge them a reasonable amount, give them great service, and you will most likely have a winner!
To your online business success!