Student ID cards have long been used to redeem dining dollars, verify student identities and enable access to athletics and other campus events. However, retailers are now getting in on the act, offering discounts to students and faculty alike with the presentation of a campus ID.
Students at the University of Memphis are taking advantage of retail discounts at a local Chalotte Russe branch, a trendy clothing store designed for young women.
A rep for the clothing boutique explains that giving discounts to students is an important way to encourage students to shop at our store, and more importantly, to keep them coming back. Student discounts are an intelligent marketing tool as it gets the store’s merchandise on campus, increasing the brands visibility along with the number of returning customers.
The Daily Helmsman reports that in addition to Charlotte Russe’s 10% student discount, the likes of J. Crew, Banana Republic, and Madewell have joined the discount party offering 15% discounts, while Ann Taylor Loft is giving students and faculty as much as 20% off on its merchandise.
Student discounts are a subtle yet effective way to show support for a financially delicate demographic. The hope is that providing discounts to traditionally cash-strapped students will foster a sense of brand loyalty.
In terms of brand loyalty, it is this sense of assistance that students feel from retailers that may very well be the catalyst for repeat business. The trick, however, is getting the word out about the deals.
Retail discounts are becoming increasingly common in and around college campuses, but it seems as though a vast number of students don’t know about them. Many times stores only promote discounts in house; in dressing rooms, on web sites or email lists that require customers to register in order to receive updates.
College students are perhaps the most connected demographic in contemporary society. Word of promos and discounts at popular retail locations would spread like wildfire through the social media ecosystem, and in the process, could provide businesses with a significant boost in sales.