When you’re running any business, it’s important to get the attention of as many consumers as possible. And when you’re running a brick-and-mortar store, you need to draw in people not only by showing off a smart window display, but also by creating a strong online presence. With no generation is this more the case than with Gen Zers, the youngest consumers in America who grew up with technology constantly at their fingertips. And as a coffee shop owner, you want to build up your customer base by getting them in your store.
But this generation can be tricky to market to. They don’t trust traditional advertising, and they’re less likely to spend money because of how careful they are with finances. So how do you get them to come into your store and become loyal customers?
Create a mission–and get your community involved
When it comes to Gen Zers, they value companies that have a strong mission. They’re passionate about political issues such as diversity, green practices, and fair labor, and if you become passionate about these issues, too, they’ll feel connected to your mission. Let’s say, for example, that you’re passionate about green energy and protecting the environment. As a coffee shop, you have many opportunities to go green, such as using recycled paper, and selling products that have a small economic footprint. Whatever you choose to do, don’t forget to spread the word on your website’s blog and on social media.
Additionally, because you’re a brick-and-mortar store, you have an opportunity to get the community involved in your mission. For example, you can have employee days where you help clean up city streets or parks with lots of litter.
And whatever you choose, don’t forget to carry Gen Z values into how you staff, too. 48 percent of Gen Zers are non-Caucasian, and 59 percent of them have friends of a different sexual orientation. Having a diverse staff will show that you care about moving in the direction this generation is moving in.
Reach them on their phones
Gen Zers basically live on their phones. In fact, Gen Zers use on average five screens, including their smartphones, TV, laptops, desktops, and tablets. Millennials, on the other hand, use three screens on average. For Gen Zers, phones are used for a variety of purposes, from socializing to researching products. So chances are that they’ll Google your coffee shop on their phones before walking in–even if they’re standing right outside.
So as a business, you need to be present everywhere to be taken seriously by this generation. Get on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Check out Oberlo’s guide on getting more Instagram followers if you’re new to the platform; it’s worth your time considering how beautiful an artfully created cappuccino looks with the right filter. Whenever anyone comments, don’t forget to engage. Gen Zers love being engaged on social media. They want to feel like they’re being listened to, because too many businesses make the mistake of considering them too young to be taken seriously.
Additionally, don’t forget to make your website mobile-friendly. In addition to making it easier for them to read your content on a mobile device, going mobile-first will up your SEO, which is something every business needs. Another thing that every brick-and-mortar business needs, especially coffee shops? Free wifi and outlets for this generation that’s addicted to their phones–unless that’s something you’re against in your mission, in which case you should provide information about why, and make retro a large part of your aesthetic on social media.
Provide lots of information–and use Local SEO
Gen Zers do a lot of research before they commit to anything or purchase a product. So if you’ve got a story behind how you source your coffee beans, or what your philosophy is behind what drinks you create, write about it. Spread the word on social media, and blog about it, too. If you can, provide user reviews on your website on how great your mochas taste.
Additionally, don’t forget to use Local SEO! Local SEO is a way for your to provide info on your site about your business, such as your phone number, address, hours, and more. This helps you show up first when someone Googles coffee shops near where they are. Considering that 86 percent of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps, having all this info will help you get more customers fast.
These are some of the best ways to get Gen Zers interested in your coffee shop business. What other strategies do you think would work effectively?