As younger generations settle into the workplace, stores have to give significant attention to the emerging buying power and how they make decisions. Convenience stores have seen the change like other retail spaces and need to adjust their positioning in the market and how they drive traffic. We have compiled four major points to consider when targeting younger generations and building loyalty to your brand, and the fourth point is the largest factor!
Recommendations and Loyalty
Customers across all generations trust their peer recommendations more than advertisements. Foster these conversations and let your customers sell your product for you because of their phenomenal experience. Whether you already offer the opportunity or do not currently, successful loyalty programs foster consistent traffic and give customers a brand to brag about! The motivation to save large sums each year feeds into advice between peers.
The majority of the younger generation grew up with caution towards medium to large companies. To build relationships, you have to build a simple, open line of communication. Make sure the benefits to a loyalty program are clear and traceable at all times. Maintain one point/dollar system with when and how they benefit from consistently shopping with you. Provide an expectation/average that your customers have saved in the past or promote the maximum as setting their expectation [keep it realistic].
Ease of Use/transaction
No one enjoys added steps or fees, and they annoy people in the younger generations even more! Setup your checkout and loyalty program to be as simple as possible with a streamlined process. This is a theme you’ve likely heard countless times before, but we have to mention it after seeing too many complicated and slow processes to collect loyalty information. Furthermore, redeeming those rewards, points, or cashback should be accessible at any time for ease of use.
Most Importantly, Personalization
Your customers are exposed to thousands of advertisements each day. Don’t add to the noise, rise above it by connecting to what they're interested in hearing. Sophisticated loyal programs contain algorithms to track consumer behavior. Hear more from our Marketing Manager, Leigh Priecko:
In CSD [Convenience Store Division], the programs are getting more customer specific. It’s rewarding you [the customer] for how many times you come in through points or free dollar values. It’s identifying your purchasing habits rather than flooding you with data.
For example, if you have an automatic segment of your loyalty program members that have consistently purchased coffee every morning, you can format an email or another form of notification to send specifically to that segment with a discount for a limited, seasonal flavor of coffee. The interested customers receive personalized content catered to their interests.
They really are having to drive people into the stores. To build that brand loyalty, they’re using an app or electronic communication to get them from their car to the actual store, and then they start building that into their routine. Building that brand consistency and having that quality message customizing the app and messaging to individuals based on algorithms.
We would even venture to say that this personalized communication is more about connecting to the individual than blatantly enticing them to come to your store. For example, sending an email with a discount for their birthday or one-year anniversary with the loyalty program shows that you’re connected and in-tune with them as an individual, not just a customer.
We hope you learned a few takeaways and we sparked a few ideas for your customer loyalty gameplan. Learn more about convenience store coffee programs. Think we missed something? Tweet us your ideas @royalcup