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Driving Student Christmas Sales During the Cost-of-Living Crisis

The festive season is upon us, and student shoppers are starting to get their Christmas shopping underway. 

But with everyone facing a rising cost-of-living crisis, will young people’s spending be impacted? Will they be frivolous, or frugal? 

We know that Christmas is an extremely important time for brands, so we’re here to help you continue to drive those conversions, protect sales performances and, most importantly, to support young people through this difficult time. 

Recent research by the Student Beans insights agency, Voxburner, revealed that 80% of students will be cutting down on non-essential essential spending over the next six months thanks to the economic uncertainty they’re facing, whilst 67% have suffered with mental health issues due to their financial situation. The cost-of-living crisis will undoubtedly have a detrimental impact on young people all year-round, but Christmas will present them with extra pressures across the season. Whilst many will have splashed out on gifts for friends and family and fun festive experiences in previous years, hundreds will now be questioning if, and how, they can afford to do so this year. 

Frivolous or frugal? Young people’s spending for Christmas 2022

In general, young people are expecting to limit their outgoings this year compared to last year, with 78% planning to cut their festive spending back and 49% reducing the amount of presents that they buy. But it’s not all doom and gloom – 17% of students are still hoping to splash the cash this year and treat their loved ones to the gifts they deserve after (another) unpredictable, difficult year.

two young women online christmas shopping

Voxburner research revealed that the number one driver to purchasing is affordable pricing, with 82% of students opting for this (more on this later!). Whilst the most common ways Gen Z will be spending their money include: gifts (39%), food/drink (27%), clothes (18%) and experiences (9%). This presents an interesting opportunity for brands: young people ultimately still want to be frivolous, but they’re keen to do so in a budgeted, cost-effective way. And here’s where you come in…

Driving conversions and protecting sales performance

As we’ve mentioned, young people will be more aware than ever before about what’s leaving their wallets this festive season, but this provides a brilliant opportunity for your brand to step up and save the (holi)day. Student discounts are a sure-fire way to introduce new and keen customers to your brand as well as gaining that all-important loyalty, and with 40% of students saying they’ll be buying gifts from budget brands rather than premium this year, there’s even more incentive for you to get ahead of competitors and offer young shoppers the best deals in the market. 

What do students expect?

77% of students told Voxburner that they’ll be taking advantage of student discounts this Christmas and 89% expect brands to be offering higher than usual discounts this Christmas. And student discounts sites like Student Beans are their number one choice for discovering what offers are available to them. To uncover the best deals, 73% expect to visit these sites over the festive period, whilst 55% will be relying on brand emails, 51% on digital advertising and 39% on visiting a brand’s social media page – all things which publishing platforms like Student Beans can help you with

Being there to offer young people discounts, particularly at such a commercial time during a cost-of-living crisis, is one of the most effective ways you can engage Gen Z, increase those conversions and build lifelong relationships with young shoppers. 

Want to know more about how the cost-of-living is impacting young people this Christmas and how you can help? Our infographic discusses student Christmas spending and shares how marketers can protect performance. Download now.

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