July 22, 2017

How This One Change Will Attract More Generation Z Shoppers to Your Small Business


How This One Change Will Attract More Generation Z Shoppers to Your Small Business

The good news is Generation Z loves to shop at brick-and-mortar stores. But if you want to attract this generation and keep them coming back to buy from your store, there is one additional thing your store has to have. Fortunately, it’s so easy to offer that doing so is a no-brainer.

Here’s How to Attract More Generation Z Shoppers

According to a study by HRC Retail Advisory, more than 90 percent of Generation Z shoppers (which the study identified as age 10 to 17) say a strong WiFi signal is important to their overall shopping experience.

Generation Z shoppers have never known a world without smartphones, and they want to stay connected to their friends via social media while they shop. Keeping them connected pays off for retailers. For example, more than four in 10 Generation Z shoppers say they have purchased clothing or accessories in a physical store because of feedback they got from their friends on social media.

Attracting Generation Z to your store has an added benefit: These kids bring their millennial parents to brick-and-mortar stores with them.



Not only does offering free WiFi make Generation Z spend more time in your store, it also provides new ways for you to market to them. Here are some ways you can use your in-store WiFi to reach Gen Z shoppers and their accompanying millennial parents:

  • Turn them into “brand ambassadors” for your store by encouraging them to share selfies, posts or tweets using your store hashtag.
  • Give them a discount for checking into your store on social media. Their friends will see your store, giving you more exposure.
  • Offer discounts or sales in return for connecting to your free WiFi. It’s a win-win: Customers get perks for doing something they already want to do, while you boost the likelihood that they’ll actually buy.
  • Use a loyalty program that rewards customers each time they visit your store. They’ll be more likely to sign into the loyalty program if they can use your free WiFi to do so instead of their own data.

Now that you’re convinced (hopefully) you need free in-store WiFi, here are some tips for setting it up.

  • Create a separate guest WiFi network for customers only. If you let customers use your business WiFi network, you’re exposing your business data and your point-of-sale system to the possibility of being hacked. This could cost you big time, especially if customers’ payment card information or other personal and financial data are stolen.
  • If you make your guest WiFi network password protected, make sure the password is posted throughout the store. No one wants to have to flag down a clerk or wait in line to ask for a password.
  • You can also ask customers for their email addresses in exchange for logging onto your free WiFi, or give them the option to log in with a social media account. This helps you capture their data in return for  using your WiFi.
  • Make sure you have adequate bandwidth to handle customers’ connection needs. Your internet provider can help you figure out how much bandwidth you need based on the average number of customers you have in the store at any given time.
  • Put your WiFi router in an unobstructed area of the store. If your router is in the depths of your stockroom, your customers may not be able to get a good internet connection.

There are also companies that offer marketing tools such as customer analytics, email marketing, SMS marketing and more to help you market to your customers on WiFi. Wipple and Koble are two to check out.

Family Shopping Photo via Shutterstock

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Rieva Lesonsky


Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow her on Google+ and visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.

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