How to market to Gen Z students this Black Friday

Student stood in front of a store front showing 50% off sign

Here’s a breakdown of our top tips for marketing to Gen Z students for the fall shopping period. 

As we finalise plans for Back to School and Freshers Week, it’s time to turn our attention to Black Friday and Cyber Week marketing strategies. What are the best ways brands can reach Gen Z student consumers this Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the days surrounding it?

Consider the recipients as well as the gifters

Did you know most students kick off their Christmas holiday shopping early? In fact, by the end of November, 69% of UK students and 75% of US students had already started buying gifts for the holiday season.

With so many students on the lookout for holiday gifts for their loved ones, November – and particularly Cyber Week, will be the time for them to tread outside of their usual spending categories. 

For the Gen Z gifters, we recommend creating a gifting section or ‘gift guide’ via your social media, website, app or in your physical store which highlights all your top Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals – to help navigate young customers around your offering.

person holding a gift wrapped present

Offer exclusive student discounts 

Remember, Black Friday is kinda a big deal to students. It’s an opportunity for them to grab a bargain, with many holding off on their typical November spending until the Cyber Week offer emails start rolling in. In 2021, 60% of UK and nearly 70% of US students splurged on Black Friday offers and deals.

It should come as no surprise then that one way to really entice Gen Z students is through added value discounts. Of course, brands are known to offer some of their best deals during Black Friday, but have you ever thought about offering stackable student discounts to really establish your brand as a go-to for young consumers? Last year, 83% of students used Student Beans to search for additional student discounts to stack on top of Cyber Week sale items and 81% were on the hunt for higher than usual student discounts.

Build momentum to create excitement in the run-up

As a financially-savvy consumer group, Gen Zs like to prepare when it comes to exercising their spending power. Almost half of US and 58% of UK students saved up in order to spend on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in 2021.

Not just that, the majority – 33% – start searching for deals a week before the big event, and 26% start at least 2-3 weeks before. 

Our advice? Get involved in the buzz around Cyber Week and make sure your deals are promoted well in advance for the Gen Z world to see. Try in-store posters, social media ads, and email newsletters to really get the ball rolling.

Make social your new storefront 

Social media marketing is a great way to reach the student cohort and get a spot on their wishlists. 

Visual platforms like Instagram, TikTok or Pinterest definitely make the most impact. If you don’t already, make sure your brand has a presence across more than one of these platforma. 

The next step is to get creative and proactive! Get Gen Zs talking on TikTok by posting product tutorials; make them an offer they can’t resist sharing with their friends online; or make a statement on their Instagram timeline with sponsored posts and ads. 63% of students get ideas of things to buy via social media – whether you’re a physical retailer, etailer or both, social media marketing is a no brainer when wanting to reach Gen Z. 

Are you in the midst of planning your Gen Z Black Friday strategy? Watch our webinar: Gen Z Strategy Check: Ready? Set? Cyber!, hosted with Voxburner, the Student Beans insights agency, to learn how you can win big with these valuable consumers.

Gen Z and the Future of Ecommerce

Access the interactive report