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Small businesses are losing potential customers because they are not offering the conveniences that Gen Z and Millennials want, according to two surveys conducted by GoDaddy. 

Although Millennials (ages 27 to 42) and their younger Gen Z counterparts are top target consumer audiences, small businesses are not always meeting expectations. Younger, more tech-savvy consumers prefer contactless payment systems, online shopping options and social media ads linking directly to online storefronts – all options small businesses are less likely to offer, the surveys found. 

For example, while 91% of the 1,000 U.S. small businesses surveyed said they believed they offered a convenient online shopping experience, only 19% of Millennials agreed. 

“Consumers are ultimately looking for convenience, and if small businesses aren’t meeting these expectations, they’re likely losing business,” said GoDaddy Trends Expert Amy Jennette. 

Among the surveys’ findings: 

Ways to Pay 

  • 73% of Gen Z and 83% of Millennials said “Buy Online, Pickup In-Store” is important to them, but only 1 in 3 (34%) small businesses offer it. 
  • 85% of Gen Z and 82% of Millennials said it is important for small businesses to accept contactless digital payments, yet 27% of small businesses do not accept digital wallet payments. 

Online Shopping 

  • 89% of consumers said that it is important for small businesses to have a website, but 24% of U.S. small businesses surveyed do not have one.  
  • 90% of consumers said it is important that small businesses offer free shipping, yet 2 in 5 small businesses (38%) do not offer free shipping. 
  • 55% of Gen Z and 61% of Millennials said it is very important to them that they can make purchases directly from a business’s website, but nearly 3 in 10 (28%) of small businesses do not have an online store. 
  • Most consumers (65%) said they are more likely to make a purchase if they knew the personal story of the business, however, 1 in 5 small businesses do not share their story on their website. 

Social Media 

  • 80% of Gen Z and 75% of Millennials said it is important for small businesses to have storefronts linked to their social pages for easy shopping, but small businesses are primarily using their social accounts for brand awareness over sales. Only 25% use social to sell physical products and 19% to sell digital products. 
  • 41% of Gen Z and 43% of Millennials have followed a brand on social media for a discount, but 47% of small businesses do not offer a discount code when someone follows their brand on social media. 

Moving into 2024, small businesses can increase sales if they lean in on technology designed to make meeting these consumer preferences easier, GoDaddy concludes.