SMBs Struggle to Meet Millennial and Gen Z Consumer Expectations – WWD

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Despite identifying younger generations as key audiences, small businesses fail to provide the convenience these consumers seek, with only 21 percent of consumers feeling they offer a convenient online experience.

While small businesses say they have their sights on Millennials and Gen Z, there’s a big disconnect in meeting the demands of these generational cohorts, according to two recent surveys conducted by GoDaddy.

Researchers at the domain and web hosting company said small businesses “are losing potential customers because they lack the convenience Gen Z and Millennials expect.” The company said while 91 percent of 1,000 U.S. small business survey respondents feel they offer customers a convenient online experience, “only 21 percent of consumers [polled] — and just 19 percent of Gen Z — feel that’s the case.”

“Overall, while small businesses identified Gen Z and Millennials as top target audiences, their current practices tend to cater more to older generations,” the report noted. “But there’s still an opportunity for entrepreneurs to earn younger consumers’ business.” GoDaddy said 73 percent of Gen Z and 75 percent of Millennials “say they would shop more at small businesses if they offered the same convenience as larger chain stores.”

Amy Jennette, a GoDaddy trends expert, said shoppers are ultimately looking for convenience, “and if small businesses aren’t meeting these expectations, they’re likely losing business. GoDaddy offers cost-effective tools small businesses can use to create more modern and convenient experiences for their customers, like “buy online, pickup in-store,” for instance. The most important thing is that small businesses are adapting as Gen Z and Millennial preferences evolve beyond what’s been the status quo.”

The survey revealed key areas of convenience preferred by younger generations, such as different payment options. The report’s authors said 73 percent of Gen Z and 83 percent of Millennials noted that buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) is important to them, “but only one in three (34 percent) small businesses offer it.” In addition, 85 percent of Gen Z and 82 percent of Millennials polled said “it is important for small businesses to accept contactless digital payments, yet 27 percent of small businesses do not accept digital wallet payments,” the report stated.

And when it comes to online shopping, 55 percent of Gen Z and 61 percent of Millennials surveyed said “it’s very important they can make purchases directly from a business’ website, but nearly three in 10 (28 percent) small businesses do not have an online store.”

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