This fall, 21.6 million college students headed back to campus and are projected to spend more than $207 annually. Where and how have they been spending and what are college students’ digital habits as of late?
Refuel Agency, a specialist in college targeted marketing, surveyed college students on what’s in (and what’s out) for digital habits in its 17th annual College Explorer Market Research Study. Here’s a quick recap of this year’s most notable trends.
Digital streaming was all the rage.
There’s a reason “Netflix and chill” has become an inescapable catchphrase. Digital streaming continues to explode, especially among college students — this year, they were 21% more likely than the general population to watch their favorite shows or flicks on digital devices. In total, 70% of college students reported they most often watched digitally as opposed to TV. When singling out Gen-Z college students, results skewed even more digital, with 78% in favor of streaming. That’s a lot of digital binge-watching.
They still preferred purchasing primarily offline.
They may be digital natives, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything college students prefer to do the old-school way. Especially when it comes to ordering food and personal care products, college students’ digital habits actually favor brick-and-mortar: 95% of food purchases and 90% of personal care product purchases took place exclusively offline. Even when it comes to clothing, offline purchasing was still slightly favored, accounting for 56% of purchases. Which of their digital habits led them to open up their virtual wallets, it was most often to buy electronics or games.
Apple and Samsung reigned supreme, while Dell and Lenovo fell out of favor.
It’s no surprise to see that iPhone nation held strong in college students’ digital habits this year, coming in as their #1 favorite electronics brand. Top competitor Samsung came in at a close second. Sony, Microsoft and HP rounded out the top five, while other big-name brands like Dell and Lenovo seem to be losing their luster.
How will these trends change in the year ahead? Within Refuel’s College and Youth division, we keep our fingers on the pulse so you don’t have to. Just last year alone, Refuel added over 50 new youth and college clients! Make it your 2018 New Year’s resolution to contact us to find out how our multi-platform solutions — the largest integrated collection of college marketing services in the industry — can help your brand grab students’ attention in 2018 and beyond.