Bricks and Mortar: How to Attract Repeat Business from Millennials

Your Source for Restaurant Marketing & Retail Marketing Best Practices

Posted by Robin Johnston on Feb 20, 2018 7:01:00 AM
Robin Johnston

Bricks and Mortar- How to Attract Repeat Business from Millennials.jpgIf you have a retail store, restaurant, or other brick and mortar business, you depend a great deal on repeat customers. It can be particularly challenging to motivate millennials to return consistently to your business. Millennials move at a fast pace and grabbing their attention can be difficult in today's hyperconnected world. This requires a well-conceived marketing strategy that understands their behavior and preferences. Here are some of the best ways to get more repeat business from millennials. 

The Importance of Repeat Customers

Every business owner wants loyal customers who frequently return. However, not everyone fully appreciates just how valuable such customers are. Research indicates that repeat customers typically account for most of a business's total revenue. Once someone is in the habit of returning to your place, you no longer have to spend as much money convincing him or her to come back. Such customers are more likely to refer their friends to your business. These are just some of the reasons that it makes sense to prioritize your returning customers. 

Reach Millennials on Their Devices

The line dividing online and offline is getting thinner all the time. Today, it's essential for brick and mortar businesses to have a website as well as social media pages. If you want to attract millennials, it's equally vital to connect with them on their smartphones with mobile apps, email, social media, and other online tactics. Nielsen reports that 98% of millennials between 18 and 24 and 97% between 25 and 34 own smartphones. If you want to appeal to younger customers, you have to connect with them on the platforms they're using. 

Track Your Customers

The first step in attracting more repeat customers is to track the behavior of people who enter your business. Many businesses only know this in a casual manner, as when they recognize familiar faces. You need a more reliable and systematic way to keep track of returning customers. One of the best ways to do this is through Wi-Fi sensor technology. Many of your customers, millennials, in particular, are likely to boot up their devices when they spend time in your space. With Wi-Fi analytics, you can be notified whenever someone logs in using the same device more than once. This is an efficient way to measure repeat business. 

Apply Triggered Marketing

Online marketers who send out emails and social media messages know the value of timing their communications. They study analytics about when people are most likely to read emails, Facebook posts, and other content. Most marketing by brick and mortar businesses, on the other hand, doesn't account for customers' current locations or daily habits. A newspaper ad, for example, is read whenever the reader happens to see it. Triggered marketing helps you increase engagement by connecting with customers at strategic moments and places. With the help of the aforementioned Wi-Fi analytics, you can encourage your young customers to return by sending them timely offers.

For example, if someone eats dinner at your restaurant every Friday night and logs into your Wi-Fi, you can send him or her a coupon for a free entree that may entice him or her to try new dishes and return more often. If you have a salon, you might have a customer who comes in every few weeks for hair styling. Before her next appointment, you could send a coupon promoting another service such as a manicure or massage.

Observe, Measure, and Improve

If you want your millennial customers to return to your business, make sure you're constantly looking for ways to improve.   

  • Analyze your data. Track all of your results, whether from your website, social media campaigns, or emails. Always look for ways to improve your results. Split test elements such as headlines, subject lines, graphics, and layouts.
  • Ask their opinion. Millennials love to tell you what they think. So ask them, whether it's on social media or printed surveys that you hand out at your business.
  • Reward and loyalty programs. These are familiar techniques but still effective, especially if you offer people discounts on products they highly value. 
  • Practice empathic design. While traditional analytics (which, as we just discussed, you should definitely study) focuses on the internet, empathic design is about observing customers in the real world and looking for ways to enhance their experience. Could you make the layout of your cafe or restaurant more comfortable? If you have several types of chairs, which do people prefer? Could you improve the atmosphere with a different type of lighting? These and other design elements can affect customers' behavior and whether or not they return.

Don't underestimate the value of repeat customers. They are the bedrock of your business. Millennials are a fickle group, always looking for the latest, the best, and the hippest whether it's coffee, beer, pizza, or fashion. If you want to attract repeat business from this group, you have to be ready to constantly up your game. EBOOK: Driving Traffic and Loyalty yo Retail Through Marketing Automation 

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