There are no items in your basket.
Find events

Black Friday: Student trends and how they’ll spend


Student Marketing Expert


03 Oct 2022

Black Friday: Student trends and how they’ll spend

The average Gen Z student spent roughly £175 on Black Friday in 2021. Consumer spending is expected to further rise this November so it is important brands get ahead of the game to capitalise on the upcoming Black Friday sales.

Due to COVID-19, Black Friday trends have changed drastically over the past 3 years with many being more conscious of what they are buying as a result of financial uncertainty. This year, with the promise of physical stores doors staying open, many Black Friday traditions are set to return. Read on to explore the top trends and how students will spend this Black Friday.

Let’s start with some history: What is Black Friday and why is it celebrated?

Black Friday first became popular in the 1980's to signify a positive increase in retail sales. However, in more recent years, this global celebration is known for marking the start of Christmas shopping with 7 in every 10 consumer brands taking part.

How we expect students to approach this year’s Black Friday Sales

With the cost of living crisis at the forefront of most news and media outlets, students are preparing to crunch their monies to ensure bills are paid on time and non-essential spending is reduced. In fact, 78% are preparing to cut back on non-essential spending. However, both new and returning students are keen to get back to shopping and socialising in person, as they’ve missed out over the past few years. Plus, no one can resist a good deal, after all! 

We’re already hearing whispers across social media about Black Friday. Students are expected to jump at the opportunity to upgrade their wardrobe and kit out their halls at a discounted price more than ever before! All things considered, the cost of living crisis will likely shake things up and students, like other demographics, will be cautious of their spending, meaning your Black Friday campaign needs to lead on value. Price is the deciding factor for 60% of Gen Z consumers, after all, but this is closely followed by brand familiarity (42%), recommendations from someone they trust (38%) and ease of shopping experience (29%) according to Statista

A sneak peak: What can brands expect to see from students this Black Friday?

With the amount spent on Black Friday sales this year expected to rise by 25% vs last year, where will students go to discover new brands and irresistible offers? In previous years, students preferred to discover deals through friends and emails, with 47% of those who discover Black Friday deals in the UK relying on email marketing. This year is no different. 

But be warned, fraudsters are increasingly targeting students (+17% in the last 12 months!), so students are on red alert for scammers, especially in the lead up to the biggest annual global sale - Black Friday. If you're new to targeting Gen Z students, or a renowned brand but expecting copycats, consider how you can deliver your marketing message through a trusted voice. For example, a Students’ Union! At native, we have exclusive access to campus media across 60+ Students’ Unions, to enable your brand to seamlessly reach students on campus and online.

Student trends expected to guide Black Friday purchases

Here are the biggest trends that will guide student buying behaviours this year:

1. Festive seasons are fast approaching - 69% of UK students start their shopping for the holidays before the end of November. Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to buy gifts for loved ones at largely discounted prices. This means students might be shopping outside of their usual categories - so don’t rule them out of your targeting.

2. New purchases are on the horizon - Black Friday encourages students to try new products and brands. The average student has a disposable income of around 60% to spend on discretionary items meaning Black Friday is the perfect opportunity for them to treat themselves to products they have on their wishlist.

3. Sustainability - 73% of Gen Z are opting to pay more for sustainable goods. Expect students to look at Black Friday to help them bring sustainability into their university lifestyle at an affordable price.

Are you ready for Black Friday 2022? Check out our tips for advertising to students and get in touch to find out how we can help to kickstart your advertising campaign!