It may seem these days that your customers only care about price--and they make all their decisions based on getting the best deal they can on absolutely everything.

But dig a little deeper and you'll find that customers are a lot more complicated than that. In fact, here are three factors that matter at least as much as cost:

1. Speed. For several years, wireless phone companies have promoting unlimited data for a fixed competitive price. But a new survey by BI Intelligence finds that consumers say that a high-speed network is the most important factor when choosing a wireless provider.

That's because consumers want easy access not only to apps and websites; they are also increasingly viewing video.

Companies in other industries have realized how customers value speed; for example, Panera just completed a major overhaul of its ordering system to cut the wait time to order from eight minutes to 60 seconds.

2. Choice. Customers today demand control; they want to be in the driver's seat.

That's why even the National Football League has changed its game, at least when it comes to what fans do at the stadium. For example, the Minnesota Vikings organization has responded to fans' demands to do much more than sit in their seats.

Explains Steve LaCroix, executive vice president and chief marketing office, fans were frustrated by poor wifi service because they couldn't stay in touch and access their networks. So the new Vikings stadium has upgraded wifi capacity.

Overall, says LaCroix, "We really try to satisfy and engage all aspects of our fanbase. We've got first-game packs for those fans, especially younger kids, when it's their first Vikings game. We deliver them a first-game package so they can really feel that 'wow, that was special.'"

3. Experience. Just as the Minnesota Vikings have realized that there's more to a football game than what's happening on the field, retailers are understanding that there's more to shopping than the products on the shelves (especially when your biggest competitor may be Amazon).

That's why Triple Five, the company building what will become the third-largest mall in North America, is focused on attracting customers who seek a meaningful experience.

According to Triple Five's President Don Ghermezian, the new mall, located in The Meadowlands complex in Secaucus, N.J, will be geared more towards entertainment (55%) than retail (45%). Called American Dream, the mall will include a Nickelodeon Universe theme park, DreamWorks Waterpark, a Cirque de Soleil theatre and an indoor ski hill and ice rink.

Plus, retail occupants will be chosen not just on the type of retail product they offer, but based to how they plan to set their stores apart from the rest.

In other words, it's all about the experience. Customers will come to the mall to do something interesting, then stay to shop.

Speed, control, experience--those advantages are what your customers are looking for.

Published on: Sep 13, 2017