What can we learn from students’ most-requested discounts?

Understanding what students want is a two-way conversation – and at Student Beans, we’re very open to suggestions from our student user base. We’ve learnt a lot from looking at what discounts they have requested over the past six months – so we thought we’d share some of our findings with you.

Students desire to travel is on the up as searches for discounts from travel brands peak.

As of June, students are looking to travel more

One slightly surprising trend over the past six months: young people are looking to travel more. The most requested discount in July was related to national travel, with the first requests for this starting to pour in the month before. 

We know that 86% of students with a uni place are still planning to start this Autumn, so their interest in getting around the country cheaply is tied to their future plans. 62% moved to a new area to study, so access to discounted rail or coach travel will likely factor into how often they flit between home and campus. And with 45% of young people nervous about travel restrictions lifting for health reasons, a staycation within the UK might be on the cards for many. 

Young people are also thinking more about travelling outside the country – one of the highly-requested brands for July was a budget airline. Students’ sense of adventure is returning, and just over half surveyed in July would be convinced to book a holiday if there was clear information on safety precautions.

Gen Z are fashion-conscious: even in the height of lockdown 

There is one spending category in which students are always requesting new discounts: fashion. Whether its clothes, shoes, or accessories, brands with a fashion focus are firmly on their radar throughout the year. Given that students spend one-fifth of their monthly budget on apparel – for context, that’s more than they spend on rent – it’s not surprising that young people are constantly on the lookout for student discounts from their favourite brands. 

Fashion-focused students. Search data shows that students remain fashion-conscious as they request discounts from more fashion houses.

Having said that, there are fluctuations in when students are most likely to request fashion discounts. Late spring and early summer were peak times for fashion discount requests this year. While fewer students were on the hunt for bargains in March and April – the height of lockdown – out of all the requests, fashion still came out on top. This reflects our wider knowledge of student shopping habits during the pandemic; for a lot of our existing fashion brands, codes and revenue peaked when students were staying at home.

The pandemic also switched them on to homewares 

Usually, students’ most common time to buy homewares is the start of the academic year, closely followed by summer. But this year, interest in this category kicked off a little bit earlier. One particular homewares brand was requested more and more as lockdown progressed, with department store brands and electronics retailers also featuring earlier in the year. 

Students were pro-actively seeking homewares brands long before they typically start buying for university – it’s likely that from staying at home, they noticed more what they liked and wanted to pick up homewares for their present and future spaces. It aligns with their interests in general – 71% of Gen Z say that the look and feel of their home is very important to them. COVID-19 gave future students the chance to get a headstart on figuring out what homeware brands they like – and identifying what discounts they’d like to see as they shop for Freshers 2020. In the most recent months (June and July), requests for homewares brands are also numerous – an indication that students’ appreciation for this category will continue beyond lockdown.

Keep tabs on what Gen Z is buying – and when. We’ll send you weekly updates via our brand-new newsletter, Student Beans Insights.