Rising Inflation, Shrinking Budgets: 3 Ways To Drive Student Sales

The cost-of-living crisis has seen everyone affected by the pinch.

Now more than ever, brands are looking to secure spending power and loyalty – but with endless options for the consumer, this can prove tricky.

In March 2023, we sat down for an exclusive session with Rick Jackson, General Manager at Voxburner, Student Beans’ Customer Success Lead Meghan Brown and our Gen Z panellists.

We shared insights into Gen Z’s spending habits, why it’s important for brands to understand the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on Gen Z, and how to maintain student sales.

Check out our three top takeaways:

1. Student discounts are key to driving sales

Students in this day and age are searching for value – and we know that incentives are the number one way to their hearts. Student discounts are able to position brands ahead of their competitors because they give consumers long-term value.

Brands who have student incentives typically see a 20% increase in AOV – and 90% of students consider shopping with a brand if it offers a student discount.

In our webinar, we discussed Student Beans’ work with cruelty-free make-up brand, Lime Crime. Lime Crime worked with Student Beans to raise brand awareness and entice new customers in.

We kicked off a campaign that saw consumers offered a 10% discount to be stackable on top of Lime Crime’s site-wide sale. This extra incentive resonated with students – and Lime Crime saw fabulous results, with a massive 60% increase in conversions.

2. Take time to understand the issues that young consumers are facing

Young people have been significantly impacted by the cost-of-living crisis. Currently, a number of students are receiving extra financial support, with 37% receiving money from a student loan and 47% on some kind of scholarship.

And, inflation isn’t just an issue when it comes to the financial side of things. Inflation appears to be having a wider effect on Gen Z – impacting everything from their mental health to their personal relationships. 

According to exclusive Voxburner data, 38% of respondents shared their friendships have been negatively impacted, whilst 28% say their dating lives have been affected by financial concerns.

To reach Gen Z consumers, it’s important for brands to take stock and understand the issues that they’re facing. Research into this demographic of consumers show they’re less likely to have dependents, and can be more flexible with their spending.

Students will also often have fixed outgoings – for example, their accommodation costs are often tied up with their bill costs.

3. Use social media as an educational tool

Did you know that in 2022, TikTok overtook Google as the most popular search engine?

Gen Z have driven this surge, with many flocking to the platform to search for answers. Social media isn’t just about entertainment anymore – it’s a place to learn and consume. And, when it comes to financial literacy, TikTok has been popular for driving informed conversations.


Replying to @JoJo 💕 since u all love when I talk money #financialliteracy #financialtransparency #money #london

♬ Storytelling – Adriel

Brands have seen the potential here to get involved, with many partnering with ‘fin-fluencers’ to share tips on how young consumers can save money.

Don’t underestimate the power of social, and consider using your platform to educate young people.

You can catch up with the full webinar on-demand here.

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