British pubs are failing to keep up with the needs and demands made by the young, digitally-savvy population – now dubbed Generation Y or The Millennials – putting them at risk of alienating this crucial target market and harming their long term survival hopes, according to a new Casio report.
Its study of 2,000 UK consumers has shown Millennials – who have grown up with technology as part and parcel of everyday life – have placed the internet at the heart of their social lives. For this age group, gone are the days when you met your future husband or wife in the pub, now the web has overtaken as number one dating venue; nearly one in five (19%) have met a future partner this way in the past year.
Casio’s Pub of the Future report shows Generation Y is looking for pubs that embrace these digital trends and their requirements differ from other age groups. For example, they are 67% more likely than their elders (Generation X) to choose a pub offering Wi-Fi services, and 70% more likely to select a pub that offers individual discounts and offers tailored to them.
The study, developed in partnership with the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and Punch Taverns, shows pubs have not yet engaged with this digital revolution. Three quarters (75%) do not provide customer loyalty schemes; 78% do not offer individually tailored discounts, 91% do not offer personalised digital marketing communications, and over two thirds (67%) do not offer their customers Wi-Fi, researchers found.
This is despite the fact that young people are showing particular loyalty towards the pub industry. The report shows, in a climate where 18% of the population no longer use pubs in their local area, 16-24s are over twice as likely to use them, most likely to meet with friends or go on a date. In support of this, 30% of young people declare they would be upset if their local pub were to close down.
Guy Boxall, senior product marketing manager at Casio, said: “It’s clear pubs aren’t doing enough to stay relevant to the crucial 16-24 age group. To secure its long-term future, the industry needs to make a shift – and this research suggests that will be driven by digital trends.”