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Summer spending: how to reach students after April loan drop

Right now, students across the country are preparing for two things: the cautious release of pent-up demand as lockdown eases, and the April loan drop. Brands – it’s time to take note. 

First of all – let’s read the room

You don’t need us to tell you that summer will be different this year. But exactly how different? According to 56% of Gen Z students, there’s cause for optimism – with a healthy dose of caution, too.

Unsurprisingly, 29% of students say that they’re slightly nervous about the British government’s roadmap for relaxing lockdown measures. But that hasn’t stopped them from thinking about how they’ll be spending the summer months. Over half have browsed clothes for summer and one in three have bought an item of summer clothing. The students we surveyed also said they’d been browsing in-person events and travel websites – and one quarter have already bought a ticket for an in-person event.

a gen z atendee at an in-person event

Your key takeaway? Demand for in-person activities is growing. But when marketing to this cautious demographic, you should balance your messaging so it drives excitement while providing reassurance of COVID compliance and safety measures. 

Timing is everything

Loan drops are, in essence, the student payday. A grand total of £3bn will be paid out in April alone, and loans in general make up 49% of UK students’ average income. But with this loan payday coming just three times a year, budgeting can be a challenge for students.

11% of our student users report that they spend their student loan – which can be as high as £4,602 – within a week of receiving it. 24% of students spend their loan within a month, and just 48% will have money left at the end of term in June.

some students enjoy a summer evening

The student loan is a crash course in budgeting. But as a brand, it’s on you to identify when students will be spending on your vertical, and understand how you fit into the bigger picture. Are you offering a subscription service that will allow them to budget little and often throughout this loan cycle? Do you stock products that would usually be out of their budget, to be invested in as soon as the loan drops? Or are you able to offer them deals that will get them through the late summer months when money tightens up? Students will thank you for proactively responding to their budgeting needs – and reward your brand with long-term loyalty.

April loan drop: best practice for brands

To sum it all up, April loan drop is a little-known event in the student calendar – but it defines students’ spending for the whole summer. There’s a lot that you can do to make a first impression on students during this time – or indeed consolidate your existing market share and really step up as a student partner.

Incentive is everything for young shoppers – especially ones who are learning to budget for the first time. 84% of students are drawn to ads that display a high discount – balance this clear signposting with assurances of quality, though, because that too is a top priority for Gen Zs.

two young students enjoying summer

 Students are also into exclusivity. Speak to this by making your standard summer offers stackable with student discounts. 77% of students say they specifically look out for this type of offer – it’s a strong type of offer for the end of summer, when their loan is likely to be running low.

Ready for summer spending? Student Beans can help you to strategise. Get in contact with us today to discuss conversion optimisation, student media and more.

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