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In a world where time is money, there is no room for complicated procedures or outdated methods. Considering that, it’s surprising how many big names still work with outdated technology and old processes that no longer suit the rapidly changing digital marketplace.

When the Internet became an excellent tool for selling services and products, the demand for instantaneous transactions increased. As a result, a new factor in the effectiveness of product sales has appeared on the market – simplicity.

The meaning of simplicity in business

It is worth noting that imbuing a brand experience with simplicity does not mean that a product or service becomes simplistic as well. There are many brands built on merchandise that is highly complex in terms of either physical or digital capabilities but offer solutions that are tailored to consumers and make their lives much easier.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Albert Einstein

Customers don’t want the best sales pitch. They want solutions that will solve their problem. Whenever there is an easy way to achieve something with the same result, one would be oddly motivated to choose a more complicated path. We naturally gravitate toward more efficient use of our time. As a result, we choose a product that is doing exactly what we expect it to do while going through a simple journey with the least number of clicks to obtain it.

If you know your audience well enough to understand just how much information they need, the service you offer will be exactly what they are looking for. However, if you combine it with a delivery method that is straightforward and transparent, then your brand will appeal both logically and emotionally, which is key to a sustainable customer experience.

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Why is simplicity important in business?

Regardless of what industry you are associated with, simplicity makes life easier. People have a bias toward simplicity and are predisposed to choose products and experiences that minimise their cognitive load – they tend to pick the least complicated experience.

Customers don’t want the best sales pitch. They want solutions that will solve their problem.

Due to information overload in the modern world, the human brain is constantly looking for opportunities to rest whenever it can. People easily follow suggestions put forward by others, as it saves them the labour of thinking for themselves. That is why the path to your product should be transparent, simple, and straightforward. Otherwise, it will be the competition that will lead the customer by the hand straight to their service.

A recipe for simplicity

Simplicity sounds simple, but in reality, it is not. Established ways of working, faulty organisational structure and lack of market orientation make it difficult to create simple experiences. Simplicity is often overlooked in favour of a company’s outdated rules and procedures. However, a brand that has abandoned unnecessary processes can be sure that all its potential contributes to the company’s development. The question is, what attributes should a company have in mind if it wants to have the best customer experience possible?

  • Clarity. Your product must have answers to such questions as “what”, “how” and “why”. Having straightforward customer communication lets you compare what you have to offer with what your potential customers want. Finding that sweet spot and cutting off everything unrelated to the desired transaction will bring you great benefits.
  • Value. No matter how simple an experience you offer, it means absolutely nothing if it isn’t something that customer needs. Before everything else, the most important thing is having a product that customers are willing to buy, repurchase, and recommend to their friends.
  • Transparency. Only companies that have nothing to hide can afford simplicity. It is much easier to show your service in a simple manner if the product or service you are offering is simple to the bone. No hidden costs, crazy promotions or other unnecessary tricks. You give the customer exactly what they want – nothing more, nothing less.

Examples of simplicity from major brands

Let’s have a look at the current top three brands scoring the highest in Simplicity Index across the United Kingdom.

  • Netflix. No one should be surprised who opens the podium. When you subscribe to Netflix, there’s no doubt that you’ll get exactly what you paid for. When you feel like watching a TV series, you can literally play it after two taps or mouse clicks. Netflix takes ease of experience one step further, tracking your viewing patterns and eliminating the decision-making process of what to watch next.
  • Google. A company that has enormous power in its hands and yet provides products and services in a clear and transparent way for anyone who wants to use them. Each of the tools offered by Google is easily available and thoroughly documented while offering value to industries that need certain tools unavailable anywhere else.
  • IKEA. The world’s largest furniture retailer devotes a lot of attention to internal processes. Everything works like a Swiss watch thanks to its excellent service structure and clarity of purpose. If you think about it, even the process of passing through the store has been refined to provide the best customer service in the world.

Simplicity matters now more than ever

In a world crowded with experiences, simplicity provides the most important value, which is time savings. Everyone knows about the greatness of data tracking, analytics and the science behind how a consumer behaves. By obtaining all this information, we can create simpler experiences.

Showing customers an easy way to get a certain service or product is all about making their own choice. They have freedom without suggestion. Individuals seek simplicity to feel in control. Nowadays, where everyone faces a constant stream of choice and information, delivering simplicity means a lot. If you do it right, the commercial approach gets blurred and a healthy relationship develops. It’s a win-win situation where everyone is satisfied.

Originally published Nov 27, 2019 7:43:36 PM, updated May 16 2022.

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