Digital transformation is the key to bringing young customers to physical stores

It is very important to have a loyal audience that wears the brand’s t-shirts and buys them year after year. After all, it shows that the store has a difference compared to the competition and knows – and recognizes – the consumers who faithfully support the venture. However, any company striving for growth must always strive to attract new customers. This does not mean that traditional consumers should be relegated to the background, only that it is necessary to think beyond them. And for that it is important to reach and conquer new generations.

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In this sense, the marketer must understand where and who young people are in order to show their qualities. Therefore, the first step in winning over these customers is a better understanding of their profile and behavior. Not so pleasant spoiler: getting them to buy in a physical store is no easy task.

Research data conducted by the analytical company Verint show that Generation Z, which includes people aged 8 to 23, has extremely complex consumer paths. That’s because more than 75% of these shoppers use more than one digital source—such as review sites, influencers, and social media—to help them make a purchase decision. That is, in general, they only consume content that is authentic and corresponds to what they think, using the online environment as leverage in the process. This is the essence of the new generations and working on the characteristics in question is crucial to bring them to physical stores.

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So a good way to start attracting a young audience is not to see the internet as a threat or just another sales channel to worry about, but as a real digital marketing tool. The virtual landscape offers many opportunities to make a brand known. So, even if e-commerce is not part of the business model, it is always recommended to resort to some of its basic aspects.

For example, an official website and the use of social networks allow new generations to identify with the sales language. In addition, it communicates the arrival of new products and improvements in the physical store, such as the renovation of the facade or the opening of a new brand unit. Blogging is also an interesting method of researching the digital environment, as it allows research into inbound marketing techniques, bringing relevant questions to consumers.

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One of the most obvious cases of how the application of these factors ends up being the difference in attracting young buyers to the space is the installment plan. The great strength of this modality is precisely the return to the physical store for payment in installments, which mainly covers consumers who are already loyal to the brand. However, the digitization of processes and the emergence of new technological tools, such as Pix, mobilized traders who were in the comfort zone to pay attention to modern markets and consumer habits.

No wonder, this group of entrepreneurs closely follows criticism, praise and suggestions of new generations, facilitating adaptation to other business models. Through this communication exchange, it is possible to develop a technological service that promotes user experience.

A good example of this is a digital installment plan where sales are as convenient as making a credit card, and can be done from anywhere. Along with greater convenience, this provides a differentiated experience to an age group that naturally already appreciates this type of action.

Such strategies are ways to reduce bureaucracy in sales, which helps the entrepreneur not to be tied to a specific and unique group of methods, as well as the customer to seek a satisfying purchase experience that he did not necessarily expect. If traditional stores open their eyes to this new world of possibilities, they will be able to combine the useful with the pleasant, combining the assertiveness and agility of technology with the “magic” of the consumer in a personal store visit.

Jeison Schneider is the founder and CEO of the company My Crediário

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