Research from Casio found that 16 to 24 year-olds are, compared to average figures, 27% more inclined to choose a pub offering discounts tailored to them and 67% more likely to prioritise Wi-Fi when choosing a pub.
Meanwhile, two thirds more foresee self-service from the table (ordering digitally) as a future trend. But 67% of pubs still do not offer Wi-Fi, 75% don’t offer loyalty schemes and 91% don’t provide personalised marketing communications.
“There’s a palpable disconnect between what the 16-to-24-year-old demographic want from pubs, and what pubs are offering them in return. Put simply: the industry is missing out on potential business,” the report says.
“In the past, pubs could rely on locals to keep their business thriving, but now 18% of people (14% of 16-to-24-year-olds) don’t visit any pubs in their local area. This means that pubs need to be attracting a broader range of customers by actively marketing to them in a targeted way - as well focusing on Generation Y.
“The research reveals that young people have several expectations of pubs for the future that correlate with their tech-savvy lives.”
The study, of 2,042 consumers put together with the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, says that technology and personalised marketing communications are going to become increasingly important tools for pubs looking to attract Generation Y.
“When asked how they think pubs will have changed ten years from now, 29% of 16-to-24-year-olds believe customers will be able to order products digitally from their table,” it says.
“Improved loyalty schemes for local people were also something that 16-to-24-year-olds (21%) saw as an important part of pubs’ offering in a decade’s time. So for the three-quarters of pubs who do not provide loyalty schemes at present, this is an area that certainly needs consideration moving forward.”
However, the study does show that many young people value pubs, with 30% saying they would be upset if their local closed. The report found that 64% of 16 to 24 year-olds use pubs for meeting friends and socialising, and are twice as likely to use the pub to go on a date.
The report adds: “To fight against the growing number of pub closures, pubs need to maximise their offerings and diverge from their traditional modes of operation, through the introduction of digital marketing, developing their technology services and offering a more personalised customer experience. After all, if pubs want to lay their claim to future generations, first they’ll need to win over Generation Y.”
Alan Todd, head of development at Punch Taverns, said: “The digital age is all about sharing information faster and wider, and pubs need to become a part of these online conversations. We actively encourage our pub estate to market and promote themselves, both internally and externally, but in many cases simply getting online is the first challenge to overcome.
“There is much work to be done before this behaviour becomes normalised, but without going through this process pubs will lose the relevancy that they once took for granted.”
The research was carried out by Censuswide via an on-line questionnaire in July 2013.