Youth marketing

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: What does Gen Z want from brands?

Published on
September 25, 2023
Last updated
May 9, 2024

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Autumn has officially arrived, and we’re drawing closer and closer to the biggest retail event of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Previously a one-day affair, this selling period has become a week-long shopping bonanza for those looking to get the best festive value. 

With savings to spend, gifts to buy, and luxury purchases to be made, we’ve no doubt that Gen Z consumers will be retail ready – the question is, are you?!

What is the importance of BFCM for retailers?

Black Friday and the Cyber Weekend might sound a bit like a cringe band, but alas: it’s far from it.

Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is a popular time for consumers to do their Christmas shopping because of generous pre-Christmas discounts. Popular items that go on sale during Black Friday include electronics, toys, home furnishings, and apparel.

The Cyber weekend is the eCommerce bang that follows, with consumers turning online to secure their favourite products at a bargain rate.

Marketing BFCM during the cost-of-living crisis

Cyber Weekend is set to be a tricky topic again this year thanks to one topic that looms over students all year round: the rising cost of living.

Whilst BFCM will still remain a key spending period for this young generation, they will undoubtedly be more aware of what goes in and out of their bank accounts this year. According to our upcoming report, 83% of UK Gen Zers have said that rising inflation will impact their festive spending. The same is true for 72% of US Gen Zers.

Despite this, they're still keen to spend money – but only if they feel they're getting good value

Gen Z might have less money to spend, but it doesn't mean they're cutting out the spending full stop.

In fact, 89% of UK students and 90% from the US want to see special offers and discounts this BFCM. So, offering stackable discounts is an absolute must – after all, that extra discount is what will set you apart from the crowd. Think free delivery, or stacking student discounts on top of already reduced items.

Show students and young consumers that your brand cares

By showing students that you understand the issues they’re facing and putting discount schemes in place to financially support them, not only are you helping them out, you’re securing their future spend. Plus – Gen Z are generous with their recommendations. The more value they’re getting, the likelier they are to spread the word about your brand.



♬ original sound - alexsteinherr

In 60 seconds: BFCM and discounts...

Our research revealed that during this period, aside from special offers, students would like to see: 

  • Free gift(s) with purchases - 67% UK, 77% US
  • Free delivery - 68% UK, 72% US
  • Flash sales/time-limited offers - 54% UK, 68% US
  • Sneak peeks/early access - 22% UK, 33% US
  • Virtual wheel spins to win - 18% UK, 29% US

(September 2023 data, UK and US)

How Pion can help

Unsure where to start? Get in touch with Pion today to understand more and find out how you can turn browsers into repeat purchasers. Our brand partners who boost their student incentives typically see a 20% increase in AOV (, not to brag, but we really are the experts!).

P.S: Keep an eye out for our full report Win Big This Cyber Weekend: Top Tips To Engage Gen Z, coming soon...

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