There is nothing quite like walking into a stadium or arena on a college game day. Energy and excitement spark against your skin as you make your way through throngs of equally excited fans to find your seats. Strangers wearing the same team colors as you are suddenly comrades ready to help cheer your college team to victory.
However, college sports enthusiasm is not just reserved for those attending the game. Team pride has the power to engage current students, worldwide alumni and general fans with your school’s brand. From the first touchdown, home run, three-point shot or goal to the last, every fan — in the stadium or watching remotely — is personally invested in the outcome. This connection is why fans of all ages and in all locations want to show their support by wearing high-quality fan gear.
Through mobile technology, your school can give fans access to a variety of collegiate wear options and make it easier for them to show their support for your school.
Gen Z is a generation of digital natives. Technology has been a constant presence in their lives since birth, giving them a greater comfort level than even millennials. For Gen Z students, it is natural to integrate online shopping with their brick-and-mortar experience. A student may start researching a product online or in an app before heading to the store to check it out in person.
The “Rise of Mobile Prodigies: Millennials, Gen Z, and the Future of Mobile Marketing” report surveyed 3,000 people between the ages of 14-29 about their mobile usage and expectations. They found that millennial and Gen Z consumers rely heavily on mobile apps when making purchases.
From ordering groceries to using online videos to develop the necessary skills to build a house, billions of people rely on the internet’s almost limitless availability of products, services and knowledge. Since 2014, worldwide internet usage has increased more than 75 percent. However, the way people prefer to access the internet is shifting.
Not that long ago, just having a college store website would have been enough to engage your students, alumni and fans. However, mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop internet usage. It now accounts for 52 percent of all website traffic worldwide. Smartphones are part of the reason why people changed the way they shop.
Through their phones, consumers have access to the internet and mobile apps that can personalize and streamline their shopping experiences. Now, 88 percent of U.S. consumers’ total mobile screen time is spent on apps. Each user can select the brands, products and services they want to follow. They can place orders with a single click. This is the type of retail convenience customers expect from their college store.
When building your college store’s omnichannel presence, you must have a great app that is integrated with your store and branding. Your store’s mobile app will help build a deeper connection with customers. It can also increase in-store foot traffic with exclusive sales, discounts or loyalty programs.
These innovative tools give your store flexibility to personalize customer interactions and send important reminders, such as notifications for rental returns or estimated line times during rush. More than that, great store apps will help maximize your store’s marketing efforts with event notifications and geotargeted alerts about promotions or sales.
Savvy college stores offer a seamless, branded experience from their store to the website and mobile app. Regardless of age or location, all fans can access their college store to find the best collegiate merchandise and show their team support.