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Money-savvy UK students banking on high-end shopping discounts this Christmas, UNiDAYS’ research reveals

UK university students will be heavily reliant on exclusive discounts on high-quality, expensive items for their holiday shopping this year, according to a new holiday report* from UNiDAYS, the world’s leading Gen Z affinity network that enables students and graduates to discover savings.

With fewer than 100 days to go until Christmas, the price of presents is on the mind for Gen Z. With half of UK students (51%) saying they’re spending less on gifts this year because their “utility bills are rising” and 69% feeling the strain of less expendable income, forward planning is a must.

But fear not, the holiday spirit is still going strong with students taking savvy measures to complete their Christmas gift lists. The first digital-native generation, Gen Z are focused on value with 65% targeting previously expensive items on exclusive Christmas deals. UK students will be particularly determined bargain hunters this holiday season, with 69% saying they can’t complete purchases

Continuing their thrifty mindset, 84% intend to specifically purchase discounted items while more than half (54%) claim they will only purchase gifts with discount codes.

There is no doubting that the word on Gen Z’s lips is value. This holiday season retailers who adjust their messaging and sales strategy to reflect consumer needs have a golden chance to get onto Gen Z’s good list. With 18-25-year-olds targeting high-end gifts for their friends and family, fashion, beauty, and tech items will continue to be the top priorities for UK students.

However, other retailers demonstrating a little Christmas spirit, also have a golden chance to expand their reach among this apex consumer group. 88% of UK students claim that they are open to finding an offer from a brand that’s new to them this Christmas – brands just need to ensure that the price and the value is right.

As many university students acclimatise to living on their own, it may not be a surprise that the majority rely on their parents and student loans for financial support, as shown by UNiDAYS tech report. However, students are taking holiday finances into their own hands this year; the majority (56%) say they are open to working part-time jobs to fund intended gifts.

With so many students specifically seeking savings on their festive shopping, brands can also consider their employment approach this festive season. A premium staff discount could be a point of difference to help attract student seasonal workers during the Christmas rush, earning brand loyalty with Gen Z in the process.

Alex Gallagher, Chief Strategy Officer at UNiDAYS says: “Retailers have an opportunity to recognise that the majority of students might be worried about affording gifts this year and to adjust their messaging and sales strategies to reflect this. Offering better deals is a must, especially on high-value items, while strong staff discounts could help retailers attract much-needed seasonal workers.

“A strong employer brand offering could open the door to a new point of access with Gen Z consumers. Gen Z are the present and future core consumers for all brands, and the importance of showing this apex consumer support during this crucial retail period cannot be underestimated.”

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About UNiDAYS UNiDAYS is the world’s leading Student Affinity Network, with a verified global audience of over 20 million student members across 115 countries. UNiDAYS works with 800 of the world’s biggest brands globally, taking their products and services into the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s professionals, by inspiring Gen Z to discover and connect with the brands and services they need. Its global members have spent more than $5 billion through the UNiDAYS marketplace since 2018. Through its identity technology, secure brand-safe environment, and marketing solutions, UNiDAYS delivers reach and engagement for brand partners, maximising sales and building long-term affinity, at scale and speed across a full range of channels. The company has over 200 staff, with headquarters in Nottingham, UK, and with offices in London, New York, and Sydney. References: 1. 2022 UNiDAYS Holiday Report informed by nearly 6000 university students from the UK, US, Australia, and New Zealand. This press release highlights the survey results from UK university students.

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