Millennials are experiencing the holidays differently than generations before them. This shift means (among many things) that millennials are seeking experiences that enrich and fulfill as opposed to objects that clutter and collect dust. One of the key ways that millennials are seeking to have these experiences is through technology.
Have you stopped to consider how your coffee shop can meet the needs of millennials for experiences? It is important to take these young consumers into account as you strategize attracting more business this holiday season.
We have some ideas that will help you invite and keep this demographic that is now more than one-quarter of the nation’s population. Although in general they are more reserved in their spending, there is one time of the year millennials are leading the charge in spending: the holidays; And there is one item that millennials can’t get enough of: coffee. Buying coffee nearly twice as often as older generations, young people spend about $80 per month on cups of Joe, well above the overall average of $67.
1. Partner with a Cause for the Holidays
Millennials want to contribute to something bigger than themselves. In fact, fifty percent of millennials would be more willing to make a purchase from a company if their purchase supports a cause. The holidays are a great time to celebrate goodwill and compassion for humankind.
Consider partnering with a local non-profit and donating a portion of your sales of a particular item towards a good cause. This could be a local homeless shelter, clean water in underdeveloped nations or an organization you believe in and are passionate about.
A good example of this is the partnership that Stockton Graham & Co. has formed with Grounds for Health. In this partnership, $1 from each purchase funds life-saving health care for women in Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Peru. Tis the season to give (and in giving, millennials will continue to return to your shop to cheer you on as you cheer others on).
2. Advertise your space
The holidays are a time for coming together and celebrating friends and family. Millennials value experiences over having material goods. Many millennials are far from home and looking for a place to connect during the holiday season. Consider renting out your cafe space for events or even planning events yourself. This could be a holiday party, a local church choir concert or celebrating holiday birthdays.
By renting your space out you are making deeper connections with your millennial shoppers who are longing to connect on a more substantial level. You are investing in relationships that will continue to grow as you create a space for them to have more experiences. It is also great exposure for people who have never set foot in your shop to become familiar with you.
Gift cards are big with millennials so as you are renting out your space for that gingerbread decoration, be sure to have your gift cards displayed front and center.
3. Tap the Technology Trend
Lastly, the best way to reach the next generation of consumers is through their smart phone. Millennials are nearly two times more connected through technology than any other generation. This translates to 13 percent of millennials using a mobile app to determine their venue.
To get and keep their attention, you have to offer a service, product or information while making it easy to connect to your establishment.
“Technology is changing the way that people are buying their coffee,” said David Sprinkle, Research Director, Packaged Facts, during a recent National Coffee Association (NCA) webinar on food service coffee. But avoid a straight sales pitch he advises. “Don’t just hawk your product, but provide information and services that are of interest to your consumers.”
Are you pairing items that are popular with millennials and posting it on Facebook? Use social media to let them know what is new and why you are offering it. Technology is a great tool to sell that new pumpkin spice latte, or the gingerbread mocha. Millennials are already online, meet them there.
Phone ordering is a new way of ordering coffee as well. This is a reflection of the on the go mentality of many millennials. Consider having an app created for your coffee shop that would allow your consumer to order and pay for the coffee before they get to your counter. You could roll this out just in time for the holiday season when consumers will be busy spending and shopping.
In general, the holidays are a time of cheery vibes and increased spending. Your younger consumers will appreciate the fact that you have shown that you care about them. This will also help to create a sense of relationship (which is exactly what the millennial is looking for) between you and your millennial shoppers.
To speak with a customer service associate please call 800 835 5943.