WiFi’s the New Toilets for Gen Z
From pumpkin-spiced lattes to the cold brew craze, coffee is no small matter. Its popularity in the US has grown steadily over the last 18 years. In 1999 only 9% of US adults were drinking coffee daily. Last year, that number hit 41% with 46% of coffee drinkers consuming their caffeinated beverage outside. In the US alone coffee makes up around 1.6% of the GDP with consumers spending $19.3 billion at coffee shops in 2015 (National Coffee Association).
With a staggering 77.3% of the total US population using a smartphone (251.9 million devices as of 2018), up from an almost imaginable 0% in 1999, coffee drinkers’ expectations have grown even faster than their caffeine habits. Fast, free and user-friendly guest WiFi has become as fundamental as toilets and hot water in the coffee shop world – taken for granted when available but devastating if absent!
So, who are the people driving the coffee shop industry? The National Coffee Association found that coffee drinkers under the age of 35 are more likely to drink it outside and on the go. There have been many studies on the impact and significance of Millennials on the US economy, but as the oldest members of Generation Z (generation of individuals born in the mid-1990s or later) are beginning to enter the workforce, industries are beginning to realise the importance of this younger generation. Within the next five years, Gen Z will become the fastest-growing generation in the US marketplace. By 2020 they will account for 40% of all consumers. Members of Gen Z are already starting to spend a lot of money on dining out, with a 2016 survey by Piper Jaffray indicating that one-fifth of teenagers’ total budget is earmarked for food and drinks.
Efficient and mobile-driven service
Allowing customers to order on their phones will ensure people keep coming back for an excellent and hassle-free service.
Branded WiFi and social media check-ins
Coffee shops can use certain WiFi solutions to create custom splash or landing page to attract customers and share real-time offers. Also, by allowing customers to “check in” or share a photo of their latte with their friends coffee shops can increase their marketing while loyal customers become an active part of the process. With an edgy interior that stands out from competitors those pictures are bound to impress coffee drinkers to come and pay a visit.
Using WiFi analytics to understand customer-space interaction
WiFi analytics can help businesses forecast before customers order. For example, it can indicate what days early-morning drinkers are most likely to come, what areas are hogged by workaholics or are more community spaces for friends to hang out together and how long do customers spend at different times of the day on average. This data can be analysed against sales-specific data to forecast how much coffee and sugar a business should have at hand so that a busy Gen Z can get a cup of coffee.
When it comes to Gen Z personal customer engagement is vital. Young consumers want to become part of the brand’s evolution. They look for new, undiscovered brands and are willing to pay more for natural, environmentally friendly and organic products. They want to spend their money on experiences that can be shared on social media with people. Thus, technology in coffee shops can only be effective if well executed.
Successfully developing brands will differentiate themselves from competitors by growing with their loyal customer base to nudge closer towards the ultimate product-market fit. For no-obligation advice, more information on guest WiFi provision, behaviour analysis and location-based, real-time consumer engagement opportunities, presence analytics, get in touch with the Presence Orb team.