The  back-to-school shopping season is wrapping up and retailers are making their final push to squeeze the most out of this shopping season.

How student discounts factor into online retailers’ back-to-school strategyOne way some retailers plan to grab sales during the monthslong season is by offering students a discount that typically ranges between 5% and 20%. Retailers including shoe manufacturer Nike (No. 33 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000) and apparel brands Urban Outfitters (No. 45), Forever 21 (No. 288) and J. Crew (No. 62) all offer and promote that they offer student discounts to shoppers.

A number of retailers have stipulations to receive the discount, such as the discount is only available in-store or only valid with a student email address. As they develop their programs, retailers should consider how their promotion can foster customer loyalty, says Lauren Freedman, Internet Retailer’s senior consumer insights analyst.

“It’s hard to secure loyalty from shoppers with a discount that’s typically around 10% given that many retailers offer better promotions throughout the year,” Freedman says. “Additionally, any barriers to participation such as stores-only or app-only can also put a damper on shopping those retailers.”

Lenovo offers a student discount to boost conversion

At computer electronics manufacturer Lenovo (No. 27), the student discount is a conversion rate tool, says Carlo Savino, executive director of North American ecommerce at Lenovo.

Lenovo offers 5% off for students and teachers, who are authenticated through verification firm ID Me. If a student or teacher is on a desktop and sees that she can apply for a discount, that will sweeten the deal, Savino says.

Lenovo understands that a large share of its products have longer consideration purchase cycles and even loyal customers may only buy its products ever three of four years. Plus, as a wholesaler, its products are available at many other retail chains. So Lenovo has to entice shoppers to purchase directly from its ecommerce site, which only a certain subset of back-to-school shoppers will do, Savino says. That’s where the student discount comes in, which consumers can take advantage of throughout the year.

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