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How Students Shop & What This Means For Your Business

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British American Group / 06.08.18 / Industry

One of the most popular student stereotypes is that all students are on extremely tight budgets and only buy the necessities to get by. In reality, students are actually quite big spenders with disposable income readily available, whether that be from student loans, their parents or credit cards.

A marketing report released in 2013 found that 18-24-year-old students attending university contribute £20 billion to the UK economy. That’s impressive for a demographic with a ‘tight budget’, isn’t it? It is fair to assume that as more students than ever before are attending university in 2018, this figure will have increased significantly in the last 5 years.

In order to gain students as customers, you need to understand how they shop and what influences them.

Online

Compared to other generations before and after them, millennials are extremely savvy with technology and have integrated it into many aspects of their day to day lives, so it comes to no surprise that 18-24-year olds prefer hassle free online shopping from the comfort of their campus than trekking to the nearest high street.

Studies have shown that around 28% of 16-24 years olds buy all their clothing online; this is a massive percentage that shouldn’t be ignored. Whether you are an online retailer or brick and mortar store, it is imperative that you find yourself a prominent platform to advertise to this age group as you are missing out. Have hot deals or running a competition? Get featured in a student publication that is sent to over 350,000 students for maximum exposure.

Offline

Online shopping continues to grow and thrive but you definitely shouldn’t rule out traditional brick and mortar stores as an avenue of sales. A study of almost 20,000 UK students found that 70% of students still prefer shopping on the high street versus online shopping.

This may be due to a fear of shopping on untrustworthy sites, enjoying the social aspect of browsing stores or simply the fact that trying on items in store is a lot easier than having to return items when they don’t fit or suit us.

A lot of offline shopping done by students is actually to browse items they like and find them at a cheaper price online at a later date!

Students love a bargain, disposable income or not, so whether you are an online only brand, brick and mortar store or both you should definitely consider a student discount scheme. Sites like Youth Discount allow you to provide amazing discounts for your products and services just for students, now that’s what we call an incentive to shop!