What Teen Shoppers Like

Tips to Get Them to Purchase in Your Store
Teenage girls with shopping bags
Members of Generation Z—the age group right after Millennials—are more likely to shop in a brick-and-mortar store than any other generation. An annual study by market and consumer research company GfK has found that more than half researched a product online and then bought it in a store. Avoiding shipping fees was one motivation, since they are cost-conscious shoppers. By 2020 Generation Z is expected to be the largest group of consumers, making up 40 percent of U.S. shoppers.

So when today’s 14- to 19-year-olds walk into your store, how can you engage with them and put them on a “path to purchase”? Retail and brand consultancy Fitch has several suggestions to keep in mind as you assess your store with this customer in mind:

  • Gen Z tends to orient by contrast and color, before exploring product features. Consider this as you set up your displays and racks aimed at these shoppers.
  • They don’t look up when shopping, nor do they read signs. Make sure to place stimulating visuals and products at eye level to attract their attention.
  • To these teens, music signifies “open for business”; silence suggests closing time.
  • Touch and access to the product are key for Gen Z; clinical displays that say “don’t touch” are off-putting.
  • A major frustration is hidden price tags; teens like to see prices right away. That’s because they fear they’ll want the item and then realize they can’t afford it, according to Fitch.
  • This generation is more ethnically and racially diverse than any U.S. generation—make sure the images in your store reflect that.

Shopping is a long process for these teens, often involving online research, consulting with their peers via social media and multiple store visits. Make sure you establish touchpoints all along the way, and you’ll be more likely to get the sale.

Income TaxesIdentity Theft Social Security cardIRS: Watch for This Tax Scam
Cybersecurity isn’t just for the big guys.

This tax season the IRS has issued an alert to taxpayers to guard against identity theft, listing it as a top scam on its “Dirty Dozen” list. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses a stolen Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. “Everyone should guard their personal information by protecting their computers and using extreme caution when viewing e-mails or getting surprise phone calls,” says IRS commissioner John Koskinen. “We all know someone who is challenged by technology, and some easy, commonsense steps could help protect [against] identity theft.”

Commonsense Steps.
Small businesses aren’t immune to hacking and data leaks. And while cybersecurity is important year-round, tax time can lead to particular slip-ups.

As you’re pulling together tax documents for your accountant, never transmit them by e-mail. Instead, make sure that both you and the tax preparer are always using encrypted e-mail to send sensitive information (for your own returns, or to prepare tax forms like W-2s and 1099s that you must issue to employees and independent contractors). Two free apps, among the many encryption products on the market: ProtonMail (protonmail.com), for sending encrypted e-mails from your desktop or smartphone, and Signal (whispersystems.org), for private messaging and phone calls on Android or iPhone.

Encrypt sensitive files such as tax records stored on the computer. Use strong passwords (hard to believe, but “12345” and “password” are commonly used!).

Check your real-world desk, too. Treat personal information (and that includes your employees’) like cash; don’t leave it lying around, advises the IRS.

PrintDid You Know? People on Pinterest start searching as much as three months before they purchase something, according to the company’s internal research. This means that Pinterest can be a good way for your store to reach someone while they’re still deciding what to buy.

So, are you keeping your boards lively and interesting with enticing peeks at new product arrivals, displays showing off new looks or fun events that will draw people to visit your store? And don’t miss any opportunity to get customers to follow you on Pinterest—with a sign and a mention at the cashwrap, or in your e-mail newsletters, with a special incentive or via other social media.

From top: Thinkstock; courtesy of Pinterest

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