Urban Outfitters Boosts Back-to-School Sales with Gated Exclusive Offers for College Students

Posted on Jul 30, 2018 · 4 min read

The end of summer is fast approaching, and many retailers are ramping up their back-to-school marketing campaigns. How can you make yours stand out?

Follow the lead of Urban Outfitters.

The wildly popular lifestyle brand, known for their on-trend clothes, stylish home decor, and more, is turning heads with a gated exclusive offer for college students. Between July 29-August 1, college students in the US get 10% off EVERYTHING.

Urban Outfitters knows the timing is ideal. According to Bazaarvoice, only 45% of back-to-school shopping has been completed by early August, and Mondays were some of the highest days of web traffic across categories in 2017.

The company also knows that gated offers are a terrific way to capturing their share of $46 billion consumers spend on back-to-college shopping. And they’re adhering to best practices to make sure it works.

Young woman happy about Urban Outfitters gated exclusive offer for college students.

6 Ways to Ensure Your Gated Offer is Successful

Urban Outfitters is following the protocol that many of our customers use to strengthen the power of their gated offer:

  • Make it for a limited-time. This creates a sense of urgency and moves shopping up on customers’ to-do lists. Shoppers know they better drop everything or they’ll miss the deadline.
  • Time it for peak relevance. It’s hard to sell ice cream in a blizzard, or mittens in a heat wave. You’ll get the most attention and traction when your discount lands at a crucial buying time—like back to school.
  • Make it Stackable. Letting your target segment add their exclusive discount on top of sale prices and other discounts makes the offer more attractive and leaves your buyers  feeling more rewarded — and loyal.
  • Amplify on multiple channels. Urban Outfitters is giving their offer maximum visibility by promoting it throughout their website and on social media and affiliate sites, including:
  • Make it truly exclusive. Deals that honor special groups, such as Target’s discount for teachers and T-Mobile’s military campaign, are great for brand loyalty. A gated offer valid only for group members puts powerful psychology to work by appealing to group identity, making customers feel recognized and valued.
  • Secure it with digital verification. Verifying the identity of each buyer ensures that your offer is truly gated and only accessible to eligible shoppers.

Acquire Student Customers at a Faster Rate

Marketers often chase buyers with online ads that compete with countless other promotions and annoy the shoppers they’re meant to entice.

When Urban Outfitters decided to reach out directly to their target audience with a gated offer, they not only avoided this pitfall, they set themselves up for tremendous success. Companies that leverage gated offers and use SheerID’s Digital Verification Platform to implement them often see a 3x increase in conversions.

They also make it easy for their buyers to redeem the offer. College students who want the Urban Outfitters discount simply provide a few points of personal information and their eligibility is immediately confirmed.

Young man wearing a tank top he purchased using a gated exclusive offer for college students.

SheerID’s Digital Verification Platform is the ideal verification solution because it:

  • Requires buyer’s to input minimal data and verifies their eligibility instantly, making the process quick and easy.
  • Works for 180+ million US and international college students in 106 countries.
  • Uses authoritative sources and backs up the process with document review, if necessary.
  • Conducts verification as part of the checkout process, for a frictionless, in-brand experience.

Gated Student Offers Are Smart Business

Student discounts can greatly influence young adult shopping behaviors. Our consumer survey found that 90% of 18- to 34-year-olds say such targeted offers would increase how often they shopped with a brand. Further:

  • More than 1 in 3 (36%) would be more likely to seek out something to buy so they could use the offer.
  • Close to 40% would purchase more items than they normally would.
  • More than one-third (36%) would treat themselves to something they wanted but didn’t need.
  • More than half (55%) say they’d be more likely to make a purchase.
94% of Americans say they would take advantage of an exclusive offer.

Deals exclusively for students also make them evangelists for your brand. A whopping 86% said they would share the discount with friends or family.

Acquire New Customers with Digitally Verified Discounts

Urban Outfitters is just one of the leading brands that has discovered the power of digitally verified exclusive offers. Amazon, HBO Now, and Spotify also know it’s a game-changing strategy for acquiring new customers and encouraging current customers to repeat their purchases.

Learn more about how SheerID can help you leverage exclusive offers for students, or contact us for a free demo.

Tony Coray by Tony Coray