From First Click to Conversion During Black Friday | Driving Student Sales For Affiliate and Performance Marketers

Black Friday. The day that students spend money, save money, treat themselves and get ahead with their Christmas shopping. It’s one of the biggest shopping days of the year for young people, and as performance marketers, it’s one of the biggest days of the year for you too!

This year, a survey from the Student Beans insights agency, Voxburner, revealed that 77% of US students and 73% of UK students are planning to spend money in the Black Friday/Cyber Week sales. The most popular planned purchases are clothes/shoes/accessories (83%), health and beauty (57%) and tech/mobile (54%). That’s a lot of young people ready to connect with your brand, invest in your products and spend time on your sites/social pages! But how can you sweeten the deal even more and add extra value to your Black Friday marketing to really drive your student sales?

1. Do your research

How do these young shoppers behave and what are their spending habits? Understanding the answers to these questions will help to shape your marketing strategies and make the most of students’ readiness to spend.

In terms of advertising, Voxburner research revealed that young people favour: discounts for students, free gifts, flash sales and social media videos from brands/influencers. These are all things that should be incorporated into your social strategy – not only will this mean shoppers are getting the best experience possible, but it will also help you to build suspense ahead of the big day. You could even boost your social reach with our award-winning Student Beans Creators!

And in terms of spending habits, 80% of young people will be paying using a bank card on Black Friday, whilst a somewhat surprising 27% will be paying in cash, 24% using PayPal and credit card and 13% using Buy Now, Pay Later schemes.

2. Offer freebies

Young people are savvy with their money, and love a deal – something that’s currently even more important given the rising cost of living (in fact, 64% of those who aren’t spending money on Black Friday are citing the cost of living as a reason). And, for some, stand alone Black Friday deals just won’t cut it  – Voxburner research revealed that 72% of US students who will be spending money during this period will be looking for free delivery, 72% for free gifts, 40% for extra fast delivery and a huge 99% will be looking for additional student discounts. These are all ways extra value can be added to your brand and products.

3. Optimise your homepage

Effective copywriting is always important, but it’s more essential than ever around the Black Friday period. 89% of student spending is with brands who promote their own student discounts. Not only that, but Student Beans brands who place their student discounts call to action prominently on their homepage have seen +309% more student sales, 20% increase in AOV, and 67% of students transacting again within 30 days.

During Black Friday/Cyber Week, 96% of UK students like to shop online, and with that quantity of potential traffic visiting your site at once, it’s vital that exclusive offers and deals are clearly signposted, popular or in-demand items are front and centre and keywords are carefully researched and strategically placed. 

And in terms of where young people are researching upcoming Black Friday sales (and therefore where you should be focusing your marketing efforts) , 45% are using  social media, 63% are relying on emails from brands, 34% are looking at their TikTok FYPs and others are researching via student discount sites.

4. Channel optimisation based on ROI data

Publishing partners like Student Beans are a great place to start with this. Student Beans helps brands to expand their reach and connect with a range of consumer groups by offering bespoke offers and discounts, building brand awareness, establishing brand loyalty and increasing conversations. We offer  a verification tool that’s reliable (both for brands and shoppers), will boost engagement with your target audience, keeps you in control AND will lay the groundwork for future marketing campaigns. What more could you need?

5. Go big or go home

As you know, Black Friday is one of the biggest days in the Gen Z shopping calendar, so if you’re ever going to go big, now’s the time! Maximise engagement on the day by incorporating a dramatic countdown into your marketing strategies, with a big push at the end to drive traffic to convert. Alex Ighalo, Senior Media Strategist at Student Beans, told us: “Over 80% of our students specifically look for exclusive student discounts which can be applied on-top of site-wide promotions to make even bigger savings. An additional 5% or 10% off can be a compelling reason to choose one brand over another if there are limited differentiating factors.”

Ultimately, young people across the world are planning to spend money this Black Friday AND want to take advantage of student discount offers available to them, and there are a number of ways that you can leverage this to drive sales. Student Beans’ Alex goes on to say that it’s all about timing and suspense: “Starting early is highly recommended. It’s something that our students have come to expect in recent years because brands have started launching Black Friday campaigns earlier and earlier. Pre-Black Friday, the discount offered doesn’t need to be huge. You can start small and gradually build the discount in the run-up to the big day when students are most likely to convert.”

This desire from students provides affiliate and performance marketers with a fantastic opportunity to grow sales by providing that extra value. And remember – a positive experience now will lead to a loyal customer for life! 

Want to find out more about how you can build brand loyalty and increase conversations? Discover everything you need to do to set up an affiliate strategy that speaks directly to students with our UK and US Affiliate Guide.

Gen Z and the Future of Ecommerce

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