The leisure industry can be a tricky and changeable place. Demanding customers means the industry is bound by current trends, and the need to be constantly on the lookout for the next big thing.
An ongoing challenge for the leisure industry is the change in customer demographics, and spending habits. Presenting new challenges for companies, and potentially the biggest challenge today is enticing the so-called Millennials!
So, who are millennials?
Millennials, or Generation Y are categorised as having been born between 1980-2000. They’ve grown up with the boom of social media and the rise of mobile phones, making them the very first digital natives. With a smart phone in hand and a wearable on their wrist, they are the most connected generation ever. In fact, it’s estimated that Millennials touch their smartphones 45 times a day.(source) They are also the most educated generation, with 40% Millennial workers holding at least a bachelor's degree in 2016, compared with 32% of their parents’ generation.
But why should they pose a problem to the Leisure industry?
As well as having grown up with technology, millennials have also grown up with the shadow of global recession over their heads. Combined this with a greater education level and knowledge of wider global issues, then you have a generation that is more careful with their money, and often burdened with debt.
With an entire generation being careful with their money, the leisure industries, often thought of as a luxury rather than necessity, need to work extra hard to convince millennials to part with their hard-earned cash.
Hungry for knowledge and a desire to know all about the products and services they are being provided, whether this is what’s in what they are eating, the carbon footprint of the products they buy or the exact chances of winning in games of chance, Millennials are driving trends in retail, gaming, and leisure industries more than ever before. They are pushing for more information, more transparency and greater advancements in technology.
So where do touchscreens come in?
Touchscreen technology has developed alongside the growing millennial population, it’s a form of technology that consumers are used to and comfortable with. And the very nature of the technology gives users so much more opportunity for interaction, and makes more information instantly accessible, which is a huge plus point for millennial users, over a that a static display or interface.
Being the first generation of digital natives, and millennials affinity for technology is shaping how they shop. They are used to instant access to price comparisons, product information and reviews that are available online, and they expect the same service to be available in any location. Interactive signage and kiosks equip with projected capacitive touch sensor, such as those available from Zytronic, are now bridging the gap between “bricks and mortar” shops and online retail experiences. By embracing advanced technology, with information readily available at user’s fingertips, quick access to social media and the personal in-store experience, retailers can appeal to the savvy millennial shopper, while still tailoring their service for all generations.
An example of this can be seen in Fashionable Opticians Kite GB’s flagship store in London’s East End, where they have Enhanced the customer experience with a mirrored touch Screen Solution. The sleek, yet durable mirror-finished multitouch unit has allowed retail customers to connect with friends and family whilst in store. The finished product now allows customers to take photos of themselves wearing their chosen frames, then via the unit they can share the images with friends and family on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Discover more
Touch screen technology in museums can also be used to appeal to millennial user. Gone are the days of noiseless museums featuring static exhibits that are to be looked at, but not touched. Interactive technologies are now encouraging users (both young and old) to engage with exhibits and process the information in new and exciting ways, as seen in the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
New Mexico-based Ideum has updated one of the Smithsonian’s most heavily used exhibits – a touch-interactive table that enables visitors to design, customise and launch space station modules of their own creation. Ideum engineered an 84” touch table and chose to use Zytronic’s projected capacitive touch sensor because it could be built to Ideum’s exacting specifications, and was able to deliver the multi-touch capabilities required to support simultaneous use by up to six visitors. The touch sensor hardware is supported by Ideum’s software to include key interactive elements. Specifically, once users complete their space station modules, they can virtually launch their module, displaying the final product at the centre of the table. Users can then email a rendering of the final product to friends or family. Discover more
Another example of how touch screen technology can benefit the leisure industry is in the gaming and casino arena. Catering to the millennials desire for communal experiences: multi-touch, projected capacitive touch sensors can offer immersive multi-user functionality that has not previously been capitalised on in casino gaming.
Euro Games Technology (EGT), is one many gaming hardware who are embracing technology to appeal to a wider range of users. Using Zytronic Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™), EGT has created a completely new multiplayer luxury roulette game on an 84” table with up to eight independent touch areas. The independent touch zones operate seamlessly over a single 84” LCD, and allow for individuals to place bets within a shared game experience.
Conclusion and going forward
Online and digital technologies, as well as a change in shopping habits, and a shift towards experience based activities by the millennial generation is a challenge for leisure and retail business models. But this can be an opportunity to respond in a positive way by embracing new immersive technologies, which benefit not only millennials but all generations of consumers.
For more information about how Zytronic’s Projected Capacitive Technology can help with your leisure or retail product, please get in touch.