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How To Snag The Next Generation Of Loyal Customers

According to a survey conducted by ID.me, 96% of student shoppers indicate that they are more likely to repeat a purchase with the same brand or retailer that offers students discounts.

Conducted in July 2014, the survey involved more than 600 college students between the ages of 18 and 24, which surveyed their online shopping behavior and loyalty to brands. The survey revealed that while access to student discounts online is limited because currently most retailers do not have a way to verify a students ID online, the demand of student specific discounts is high – 78% of students report spending time searching for some sort of discount specific to students before making a purchase online. In addition to that, 97% of surveyors indicated that they would probably or most definitely shop online more often if student specific discounts were available to them.

Brands like J.Crew and Eddie Bauer currently offer an in-store student discount to shoppers who hold a valid student ID. The same offer is not available online as there is no way to validate a student’s ID. The survey indicates that these brands have experienced a loss in revenue as 80% of students make purchases online to these brands several times a month, with 61% of them spending from $51 to about $500.

ID.me now has a way to solve this problem for retailers who want to provide a discount online. The platform allows merchants to take an omnichannel approach to student discounts and to discounts in general.

Blake Hall, CEO of ID.me, said, “Ninety-six percent of the students we surveyed indicated that they would be more likely to shop with a brand that offers online student discounts. That should be a clear call to action for retailers that value the college-age demographic.” Hall added, “Our experience with brands leveraging ID.me’s technology has shown that engaging affinity groups online with customized discounts and special offers has a direct correlation to brand loyalty and incremental sales.”

Results have indicated that merchants have a significant opportunity to not only increase sales but also increase word-of-mouth marketing as 95% of those surveyed said that they are very likely to tell other students when a brand offers a student discount. About 60% of respondents also indicated that when they utilized a discount within the past 30 days, they referred another 1-4 people about the same discount.

Hall weighed in about the retailers concerns about offering student discounts. “Retailers are often deterred from offering online student discounts because .edu e-mails aren’t available to about a third of students and many alumni e-mail addresses end in .edu even though they are not eligible for student discounts. Due to this limitation, fears of fraud and abuse and brand erosion lead many retailers to limit their student discount program to brick and mortar locations.” Hall then explained how ID.me could be a helpful tool to merchants, “ID.me solves this legacy problem. ID.me’s technology can verify 21.4 million college and graduate students in real-time, more than 99 percent of college students, so retailers can rest assured their program is both accessible and secure.”

A major takeaway for ID.me was that the survey disclosed that 85% of students affirmed that they would sign up for a service that verifies their student status and allows them access to discounts specific to students from online merchants.

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