Inside students’ festive wishlists for 2020

It’s been a strange old year for the student population – and if their festive wishlists are anything to go by, they’re embracing the festive season as the perfect time to treat themselves. But what exactly are Gen Z students looking to receive this festive season?

Fashion tops the list

It’s not surprising that clothes, shoes and accessories are firmly at the top of student wishlists. Fashion items are their biggest discretionary spending category. Even lockdown hasn’t turned Gen Z off fashion items – a number of fashion brands actually grew by triple figure percentage points, benefiting from the well-timed boom in loungewear purchases.

A man browses a rack of clothes

 Of course, with a new year just around the corner – and a COVID-19 vaccine tentatively on its way – students can start to think about what they want to wear beyond the comfort of their living rooms. Make sure your ranges are focused on staying in and loungewear, but with a strong emphasis on what students can wear outside of Zoom calls and TikTok dances.

Beauty ranks highly for Gen Z females

Thanks to a strong cohort of male beauty influencers and a growing focus on gender-neutral beauty products, the sector is no longer just for females. That said, the appetite for beauty gifts among females is greater than for male counterparts – it’s number two on the Gen Z female wishlist and number six on the male wishlist.

Some beauty products and brushes

But it’s important to make your beauty marketing inclusive of all genders. One-fifth of Gen Z males in the US said they’d like to receive a beauty gift, so the interest is there – it’s just a case of being inclusive to all and empowering all genders to express themselves.

Digital gifts for digital natives

As the generation that grew up with technology, it’s not surprising that Gen Zs gravitate towards receiving tech-focused gifts. This year, with so much time spent at home, tech is more important than ever – it’s a social life, an escape and an education all rolled into one.

A gaming setup with a gaming controller

Ranking #1 on the Gen Z male wishlist and coming in at #3 for Gen Z females, this digitally-native demographic will certainly be fuelling laptop and phone sales during the next few months. However, it’s also important to look beyond the “main” devices. To make tech that bit more immersive during the pandemic, Gen Zs like Gabriel will be looking to invest in upgrades and accessories. “I’d like a newer laptop, just to be more updated, have it move faster, a newer processor, or even a phone or AirPods”, he says. Make sure you’re putting the full range of products in front of students in the lead-up to the festive season.

Homewares: a wild card for Gen Z males?

“Houseproud students” has perhaps been a bit of an oxymoron, looking back. But Gen Z came along and changed that all. The vast majority of students say that they care about the look and feel of their home – and Gen Z males, in particular, say that they’d like to receive homewares as a gift this festive season.

Consider the amount of time that students have spent in student halls or flats this year, and it does make sense: they want autonomy and creative control over their space. Homewares are also a sign of independence – for many students, it will be their first time receiving appliances or furnishings of their own. That, in itself, is exciting.

Want to delve into the full Gen Z wishlist? Download our Festive Guide. Packed with case studies, marketing insights and the latest shopping trends, it’s your key to growing your student consumer base this festive season.