A study conducted by Harris Poll asked adults ages 18 and older what they really wanted in a relationship with a retailer. A large 74% of surveyed respondents said they wanted to receive messages on their phones during a store visit. A whopping 81% of respondents said they were open to stores keeping in touch via text or email post-shopping. Hello geo-fencing!
Millennials are sensitive to price putting campus stores at a disadvantage. Although most campus stores maintain MAP price, the illusion remains that they over charge. Social media is a great way to get your product information out there. Millennials connect to social media more than any other generation, so meet them where they are at and share product specials, shopping news, or new products.
Every campus store has a unique advantage when it comes to reaching students, they are directly on campus. Students do not have to take the bus, drive, or walk far to reach your store. Consider offering a “Buy online, pick up in store” program. This saves students time by not having to pick out the items themselves, but they also do not have to wait a day or two for the items to ship. Students and their parents will appreciate the extra step and personalized program.
Loyalty is not lost with the millennials. They are harder to win over, but it does not mean it cannot be done. The answer lies in offering customer service in addition to loyalty programs. Shoppers want something in exchange for their loyalty, but customers will not be loyal if they have bad experience with your store. Whether you offer rewards points, gift cards, extra discounts, make sure your staff is helpful along the way.
Brick and mortar stores should not give up on retail. They need to continue to work towards providing consistent positive experiences for millennials at every touch point.