Behold, the Power of the Student Market

Posted on Mar 14, 2012 · 3 min read

Name the top three markets you’re focusing on in your business. Is student market on that list?

Yes? Good!

No? Why not?

Do you know how much money students are spending online? I’ll give you a hint, it’s in the billions. If you don’t have students as one of the top five in your marketing groups to reach out to, I hope you’re scrambling to fix that right now.

Did you know that when SheerID asked over 2,000+ students, many of whom were polled in person, about purchasing software, not a single student said “I don’t own a computer.” I don’t want to go all “I remember when gas was under a dollar and MTV played actual music video’s” on you, but here’s the thing. Personal computers, when I was a college student, were unheard of. In my day, we had typewriters and computer labs. If you were lucky, you went to a college that had a main server on campus and a terminal in each dorm room. And all that gave you was an easy way to pull up your class schedule and the weekend lunch menu for the cafe.

These days, having a laptop is almost a class requirement and it’s not just the college campuses, technology in the class room is on the rise. Some middle school students and high schoolers are being handed laptops on the first day of school. Yep, the Associated Press recently reported that freshmen at a central Indiana high school would all be receiving laptops or tablet devices at the start of the new school year. The end goal is to have every student outfitted with a portable device for school by the end of 2015. (Source)

More and more, normal is students with access to technology. Normal is students with greater buying power. And there are a lot more students than there were 20 years ago. Heck, more than 5 years ago. Whether you’re selling laptops or designer running shoes, wouldn’t you rather have all those students shopping on your web site than on your competitors’?

That’s kind of a dumb question, I apologize. Why wouldn’t you want the future decision makers of tomorrow spending their cash with you today and building brand loyalty now? If you’re scratching your head and wondering how to lure them to your e-commerce site, don’t underestimate the seductive powers of the student discount and student pricing. Every shopper loves a bargain, and every person loves to feel special which makes an exclusive, verified deal a powerful psychological tool in every good marketer’s toolbox. Trust me when I say students want those discounts. And they’ll shop around to find them.

If there’s one thing I would love for you to take away from this article, it’s this: Don’t dismiss the importance of the student spending market. Figure out how you can entice them to your product or service, be it with discounts, or special pricing specifically for them. If you discount it, they will buy.

Chelle Parmele by Chelle Parmele