With over 2.8 million Australians aged 16-24, the Gen Y and millennial demographic is a big market. But how can you lure these notoriously tech-savvy shoppers away from the computer and into your bricks and mortar store? Here are a few tips.
Your store should be well merchandised well anyway, but looks are especially important if you want to capture a younger audience. It’s what’s on the outside that really counts here, so make an effort to style eye-catching window displays—most young people wouldn’t be caught dead entering a ‘daggy’ store.
Even if they’re not buying online, young people will hit their social channels to research purchases and see which products their peers love. Instagram is especially important—it’s the most popular social network among teens—and your store should probably have an account.
Try creating appealing flatlays of your products (where items are arranged lying next to each other and shot from above); post pictures of in-store displays and new products; and encourage customers to share their purchases with you using a specific hashtag. While it can be time consuming, an engaging digital presence is a must.
It goes without saying that to attract younger shoppers, you have to sell products they like. This means keeping up with current trends and stocking your store with items that look good enough to show off online.
Product packaging is the key here—a bar of soap is just that, unless the packaging is a cool design by a local artist, then it becomes the star of your customer’s next Instagram post. Price is also important as many young people don’t have large amounts of disposable income—we all know students don’t eat instant noodles for the nutritional benefits.
For any age group you want to keep your store interesting, so experiment with changing layouts and the way you merchandise. Having a frequent rotation of new stock is also important as young people are always looking for the next big thing, and many don’t feel the same sense of brand loyalty that their parents or grandparents might. Plus, they’re more likely to come back if there’s always something new to see.
Studies show that young Australians are increasingly concerned about environmental and social issues, and are interested in stores and brands that share their values. Using their hard earned cash to support brands they believe in is one way young people feel they can make a difference.
Make it fun
Once you’ve found the right products and given your merchandising an update, the final thing is to give your store some atmosphere. Along with hiring helpful, friendly staff, the quickest way to do this is to add some music. No one’s suggesting you play One Direction (you don’t want to alienate your older customers), but a quick search of a legal music streaming platform will help you find a playlist that’s right for your store, and create an environment your customers want to be in.
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