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Connect with student shoppers this holiday season

    Download the report: Gen Z spending habits before and during COVID-19

    The highs and lows of Q3 for Gen Z

    Gen Z boasts a well-earned reputation for being a notoriously tricky demographic to get onyour side. So, how do you make students fall in love with your brand?...

    The scent of pumpkin spice is lingering in the air. The sound of Mariah Carey is growing louder in the distance. The countdown is officially on.

    Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas… ‘tis the season for festive shopping, and Gen Z holds BIG spending power and an even bigger opportunity for brands, this year. 

    This holiday season, students will spend a whopping $4b+ in the US and £519m+ in the UK. 


    Student spend this holiday season

    US student spend

    UK student spend

    So how can your brand cut through the noise and connect with savvy student shoppers? 

    Bigger value = bigger baskets  

    Gen Z are smart shoppers, with savings being the biggest driver of their seasonal purchases. 58% of students say they’ll only bag the very best deals this Black Friday—so deep discounts will be crucial to loosening purse strings and getting students to click ‘add to cart’. 

    …and don’t delay, either. The majority of students say they don’t bother waiting until a specific time or day to start shopping for gifts, instead preferring to snap up discounts whenever they spot them. It’s time to take action.

    Set up a strategic student programme with UNiDAYS Marketplace 

    Bougie on a budget

    Just because Gen Z are cost-conscious, doesn’t mean they’re cheap. 54% of students will spend 10% or more on festive shopping sprees compared to last year. With bigger budgets and more expendable income, 72% say they’re more likely to buy more expensive gifts… if the price is right, that is.

    With Gen Z more willing to splash out on luxury items for their loved ones, make sure you’re offering discounts on a variety of products, both premium *and* budget.

    Get into the Gen Z mindset   

    Know your audience so you can give ‘em what they want. Tapping into student spending sentiment is crucial, so you can create campaigns that really resonate this festive season. And if Tik Tok dances and the comeback of 90s fashion (quite rightly) baffles you, our student-savvy experts at UNiDAYS can do this for you. 

    Students are mostly self-funding their shopping sprees this year. 83% are paying for their own hauls with part-time jobs and savings, rather than dipping into their student loan or borrowing from family and friends. 

    1 in 3 also say they’ll have bigger shopping baskets this year, with more expendable income than last year. With more of their own cash in their pockets, Gen Z will be scouring for the best deals, making sure their money goes further.

    Brick and mortar matters

    Who said the high street is dead? Focusing on hybrid shopping experiences is key to reel in curious Gen Z shoppers. 

    While 59% of students do most of their shopping online, 1 in 3 are splitting their shopping between online and in-store. Students are willing to go beyond just tapping on screens, getting out of their flatshare and immersing themselves in more in-store experiences. 

    Inspired to take action? It’s time to don your Santa hat, get strategic and capture the attention of 29m+ verified members this festive season. 

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      Think digital marketing is all it takes to reach Gen Z? Think again. Download the research report here.