10 tips on marketing to teens in your retail business
Do you actively market to teens as retail customers? If not, you are missing a huge opportunity. Between allowance and income, Barkley estimates that teens spend up to $143 billion of their own money (not including all the money their parents spend on them). The majority of this spending takes place in brick-and-mortar stores: 67% of teens prefer buying in a store to shopping online, likely because they’re less likely to have credit cards than adults. However, teens are also avid online shoppers, so whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store, a retail website, or both, this is a market you shouldn’t ignore.
Still not convinced? Consider this: By 2020, Gen Z (those born after 2000) will make up 40% of all consumers. Attract these teenagers today and you could turn them into loyal clients tomorrow.
10 tips on marketing to teens
Here are 10 ways to market to teens in your retail business.
- Connect with them on social media. A whopping 95% of teens have smartphones, according to Bench, and 45% are online “almost constantly”. The most popular social media platforms for teens are YouTube (85%), Instagram (72%) and Snapchat (68%). Teens turn to social media influencers, especially on YouTube, to find out which products are worth their money: 19% have tried a new product based on an influencer’s review. Teenagers also rely on the opinions of their friends, collected on social networks. If you receive positive comments and messages from teenagers praising your retail business, be sure to thank them and engage.
- Establish a strong presence on YouTube. If your retail business isn’t on YouTube, what are you waiting for? YouTube is teens’ favorite way to spend time. More than seven out of 10 teenagers spend three or more hours a day watching online videos. Use YouTube videos to show teens what’s new in your store, showcase products, or make them feel part of your store. For example, you can show them how to style outfits with products from your inventory, demo a new video game you’re wearing, or show your staff how dumb they are behind the scenes.
- Celebrate their uniqueness. Teenagers appreciate retailers who value their individuality, listen to their opinions and consider their ideas. In reality, 44% of teenagers want to have a say in product design. Think of ways to personalize products for teenage customers or sell products that allow them to express their individuality. Ask for their suggestions and act on them. Getting feedback from teens on social media is a great way to not only get new ideas, but also to build relationships with them. Another way to help teens feel “special”? Regularly introduce new brands to your retail business—Think with Google reports that teens love discovering new brands that are still “under the radar.”
- Make it easy for them to pay. Keep in mind that most teenagers are too young for credit cards. However, they have other payment choices besides cash. For example, fully 35% use their phone to pay in shops. This generation will respond to updated POS systems that offer a wide variety of options. Use mobile devices in-store to accept payments on the sales floor so teen shoppers don’t have to wait in line. Consider implementing cashierless payments or self-service checkouts.
- Be exceptional in the basics of retail. While cool tools like VR dressing rooms may grab the headlines, in reality, studies show that teens care more about the essentials of the shopping experience. For example, two-thirds say it’s important that retailers always have the products they want in stock, while 58% want pick-up or delivery options. If your business has an e-commerce component, allow online purchases and in-store pickup. Also make it easy to exchange or return products, redeem coupons or redeem rewards. If teens have to jump through too many hoops to do business with you, they’ll be bored.
- Value of the offer. Some 65% of teens say discounts, coupons and loyalty rewards are an important factor in where they shop, National Retail Federation reports. Sales, discounts and rewards help teens get the most out of their pocket money. You can also take advantage of the relatively smaller budgets of teenagers by stocking a wide selection of low-cost, impulse-buy items with your main inventory. For example, if you sell clothes for teenage girls, you can also sell cosmetics, nail polish, stickers, and other knick-knacks that appeal to teenage girls. According to the semester Piper Jaffray’s Teenage SurveyThe number one spending priority for teens is food, so stocking up on snacks and candies near your checkout line can bring in extra profits.
- Protect their personal data. According to National Retail Federation. However, they expect their data to be protected. Be transparent about what you do with their information and how you protect it. Make it easy for teens to update or change the information they allow you to access.
- Use technology to improve the shopping experience. Some 57% of teens research products on a mobile device before buying them, according to the National Retail Federation. Free Wi-Fi in your store is essential for teen shoppers, not only so they can research, but also so they can share on social media and get feedback from friends before they buy. . However, teens appreciate technology for its practical value, not just its “wow” factor, so make sure the tech tools you implement actually work. This virtual reality locker room app will backfire if it fails when teens try it, and they’ll spread the word on social media.
- Make your store an IRL social experience. Teens love shopping in groups; it is a major social activity for them. Play on their love of socializing by hiring engaging and dynamic salespeople; create an environment where groups of teens can shop together (like locker rooms with room for friends to congregate); Set up backgrounds to take selfies while trying on outfits and encourage teen shoppers to share their status and photos on social media with your store hashtags.
- Add value to entertainment. the National Retail Federation says 56% of teen shoppers consider a fun in-store experience important. Make your store more than just a place to transact. Play teen-friendly music in the background or host in-store performances by local musicians. Promote events relevant to your business, such as an in-store fashion show for a clothing store, a makeup day for a cosmetics store or salon, or a game contest for a video game retailer.
Teenagers become more loyal to companies and brands as they get older, the National Retail Federation reports. So while this generation may be fickle shoppers now, earning their allegiance to your store today could reap dividends in the future.
Teen Shopping Photo via Shutterstock