Youth marketing
min read

8 ways you can have your most successful festive season ever

Written by
Izzy Hall
Published on
November 24, 2023
Last updated
March 7, 2024

What this article covers

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In 60 seconds: 

  • Despite financial worries, Gen Zers still want to spend this festive season. It’s up to you to support them and make the purchasing journey accessible and straightforward
  • Gen Z students want some bang for their buck, so be sure to offer them extra value via discounts, reward schemes and free delivery 
  • It’s never too early to look at next year - start thinking about Christmas 2024 as soon as possible

It's no secret that the festive season is the biggest spending period in the Gen Z student calendar (and ours, judging by the state of our bank accounts right now). With 85% of Gen Zers from the UK planning to buy gifts for others during the festive season, it's the perfect opportunity for brands to boost their offerings and supercharge engagement. But we know that sometimes starting is the hardest part...

Luckily for you, we're here to help! In this blog post, we'll be sharing our last minute tips and tricks to help you boost your brand's efforts, empowering you to reach your target audience and have your most successful festive season yet.

Gen Zers exchanging the christmas presents at home

Christmas 2023 tips and tricks: How to make your brand stand out

1. Focus on holiday spirit 

The festive season is full of food, love, and joy, and Gen Z don't want you to forget it! This generation of consumers seeks storytelling in the marketing they consume, so be sure to bring the magic moments and festive sparkle.

2. Relieve customer’s pain points 

Much like the rest of us, Gen Z shoppers will be battling with the rising cost of living this Christmas. It's an intense season and whilst overconsumption is high, finances are low.

Of those who changed their shopping habits in the last 12 months, 32% of Gen Zers from the UK (33% US) say they've been negatively impacted by the rising cost of living.

Despite this, many still want to spend, so it's up to you to support them and make the process as straightforward as possible. From creating an easy purchase journey to offering great discounts, they need your financial support more than ever and will reward you with their loyalty.

3. Stack your festive discounts

The competition is high, so how can you stand out? Offering stackable discounts, of course!

Gen Z students want some bang for their buck, so consider offering free delivery, stackable discounts, free gifts upon purchase, or a loyalty program.

And, great news - we're here to help! Student Beans can help you turn browsers into repeat purchases - in fact, our brand partners who boost their student discount incentives typically see a 20% increase in AOV. Get in touch today to find out more.

Young Gen Z woman walking in the park, uses the phone for online shopping, on a winter snowy day

4. Enable abandoned cart email follow ups

Baby, it's cold outside, and Gen Zers are getting ready to snuggle up on the sofa with their phones to scroll and swipe through their wishlists.

As digital natives, a significant 51% of Gen Z prefer online shopping, whether via a phone's browser or an app, but not everyone commits to purchase immediately, and you don't want to let them get away!

Set up abandoned cart emails featuring personalised messaging to remind potential shoppers of what they left behind - entice them back in and secure that spending ASAP!

5. Be social media smart

You're busy, you're stressed, and you're up to our eyeballs in mince pies and tinsel, but don't neglect your social strategy! Paid and organic social media are great ways to engage new and existing customers, so be sure to keep this as a priority and don't be afraid to get creative.

Of those who celebrate Christmas in the UK, 38% of Gen Z prefer to see Christmas marketing on TikTok, with Instagram and YouTube coming in a close second. From gamification in social ads to influencer marketing, work smarter, not harder this year.

P.S. Gen Z engages best with peer-to-peer micro influencers who can offer them authenticity and trust. Get in touch now to learn more about our Creators programme, part of Pion’s student discount offering through Student Beans.

6. Sprinkle some seasonal SEO magic

SEO is important all year round, but the festive season is its time to shine.

By incorporating festive keywords throughout your copywriting and product descriptions (think 'festive discounts'), you'll be able to align your website to customer searches and attract more potential spenders.

“Keyword research is important at all times but especially during the holiday season,” said Keith Moody, SEO Content Lead at Pion. “Using your own data from tools like Google Search Console you can find what brings people to your site. For example, terms like ‘christmas gifts’ can be really competitive - bit if you're a chocolatier then it be specific and focus on terms like ‘christmas chocolate gifts.

“You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got a specific Christmas landing page - don’t create one for each year, just update the one you have with helpful content that’s relevant to your audience. Finally, do some technical house-keeping and make sure your site is ready to cope with all that extra traffic!”

Gen Zers surprising their other friend with a Christmas/New Year/Birthday presents

 7. Tap into nostalgia

For those Gen Zers who celebrate Christmas, the most popular themes they want to see in Christmas marketing are creative, humorous, nostalgic, and emotional.

Essentially, Gen Zers want to go back to a time when they felt happy, safe and cosy, without the overstimulation of social media. Storytelling is a massive part of this, so be sure to offer them connection and excitement in your marketing efforts.

And what does this mean for you? Well, channelling these sentiments will lead to positive brand association from young consumers, something that boosts brand affinity and goes well beyond driving sales in December.

8. Start planning Festive 2024!

We know, we've not even had Christmas 2023 yet, but it's never too early! Once you've welcomed in the New Year, start looking forward to the 2024 festive season to make the most of the spending period.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up to our Weekly Briefing now for insights, news and Gen Z trends delivered directly to your inbox every week.

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