Offering student discounts is a marketing strategy that can benefit your business immediately and extend its benefits in the long run.
Think about this: after graduating, students will start getting a better income. By gaining their loyalty, you will turn them into customers for life.
There are many ways you can take advantage of student discounts, regardless of the products or services you offer. In addition, reaching this population is not difficult, because this student offers are easily spread through word of mouth and social media.
By reading this article you will know the benefits of offering student discounts in your business and learn how to use this strategy appropriately.
Why Should You Offer Student Discounts in Your Business?
Discounts are a simple way to attract customers. This is especially true when it comes to students.
The reason is that this population group is much more sensitive to prices because their income is lower than that of a salaried employee. Accordingly, any increase in the value of a product will put it out of their reach.
But you should not underestimate the purchasing power of this segment. Generation Z, -young people born in the 1990s and who are now in the middle of their careers, equals 26 percent of the population in the United States, and their purchasing power is estimated at around $143 billion. Not to mention the influence that students have on the expenses their families make on them.
Therefore, gaining their attention and turning them into loyal customers can have a long-term impact on your business. If these figures are nor convincing enough, below you have other arguments in favor of offering student discounts in your business:
1. You can turn students into lifelong clients
Students are a potential market that you should not ignore. Young people are beginning to make purchasing decisions that will influence their loyalty to certain brands in the years to come.
In other words, by gaining their trust, you could turn them into customers for the next decades. Numbers speak for themselves: according to a study conducted by The University Network, 75 percent of the students surveyed said that they would remain loyal to a business after they graduate if the business offers discounts while they are in college.
2. You can improve your reputation
A company that offers discounts to customers who are struggling economically, such as students, can improve its reputation.
It is not a secret that students invest a lot of money in their education. For most of them, this implies getting into debt, thus decreasing their purchasing power.
According to the Federal Reserve, the accumulated debt of students in the United States reached $1.5 trillion during the first quarter of 2018. This figure is a clear indicator of the financial situation of this population.
By offering student discounts in your business, you show that you care about your community and you want to help, which in return improves how your consumers perceive your business.
3. You can generate more income
There are more than 20 million college students in the United States. Their purchasing power, added to that of their parents, represents an enormous amount of money spent annually in education.
According to a study by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the cost of university students returning to school in 2018 was expected to reach $55.3 billion.
This money is invested mainly in electronic devices, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. But they also spend on other products and services, such as books, clothing and accessories, shoes, food, personal care items and furniture for their dorms, among others.
And these are just expenses at the beginning of the academic period. Throughout the year, students spend much more on entertainment (movies, eating out, music, etc.), clothing, transportation, and extracurricular activities.
According to the NRF survey, the most popular sites to buy among college students are online retail stores, department stores, and discount stores.
All of the above proves that offering student discounts represents a great growth opportunity for your company. But you may be wondering how to use discounts to attract students to your business. Here you have some ideas.
What Should You Know Before Using Student Discounts in Your Business?
The most popular discounts for students are those that imply a reduction in the price of a product or service. The most advisable thing is to discount a percentage, instead of a fixed amount of money.
The type of discounts “buy one, get two” are also very appreciated by the students, especially if they are interested in buying several units of the same item, such as food to-go.
Offering gifts and free subscriptions to certain services are other promotional ideas that can attract this audience.
Of course, the higher the discount, the more attractive it will be for students. However, you must be careful when assigning discounts to your products or services, as these should vary depending on your type of business and what you want to achieve with them.
You can offer several types of discounts in a creative way. For example, if you have a restaurant, instead of setting a fixed percentage discount for students, create special promotions: $5 lunch combo, a free drink with the purchase of certain products, or desserts at half price.
One thing you should consider is that students buy mainly online. If you have an online store, make sure you also offer your products with discounts. To make them easy to find, you have to highlight your sales and promotions within the site, and explain very well what students must do to access the offers.
Finally, keep in mind that not all companies need this strategy to increase their profits. If your business already attracts a good number of students, a discount will not make much difference to get more customers within this segment.
How Can You Let Students Know That You Offer Discounts?
There are many ways to promote your discounts and get the students to know them. These are some of them:
• Take advantage of the power of social media
They send messages about their favorite brands and the latest products they bought.
• Use your website
Add a page to your website with all the information about the student discounts you offer. Also, mention these promotions on the FAQ page.
• Send them an electronic newsletter
Create a database with information about the students that visit your business or website, and send them a weekly or biweekly email newsletter to keep them posted about your discounts for the season.
• Advertise discounts at your establishment and in the neighborhood
Use billboards or shop windows to promote your discounts. Hang ads in public places, or hand out flyers at the entrance of colleges and universities. These strategies will complement your virtual campaign.
To Sum Up
Offering student discounts is a good strategy to attract new customers to your business, and an investment for the future if they become loyal customers. It is also an opportunity to gain participation in a market with great potential purchasing power in the future.
For this strategy to be effective, you must deduct percentages instead of fixed amounts of money to your prices, and adapt your promotions to the market trends and to your own company.
Also, you should create special promotions not only in your establishment but also on your website.
Finally, don’t forget to use social media to advertise your discounts, as well as traditional advertising.
Do you want to know more strategies to turn your clients into potential loyal customers? Keep reading here to learn what a sales funnel is a how to create one for your business.