Creating Online and In-Store Moments that Matter to College Students

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College students already live in an omnichannel shopping mindset. These young shoppers carry the expectation that seamless and consistent online and offline engagements are the norm across their purchasing journey. The goal of omnichannel marketing is to create one unified brand-to-consumer interaction across all channels. And with the college student demographic looking to spend almost $200 billion in the coming years, omnichannel should become more of a focus. Here are some ways to inspire college students through omnichannel marketing.


  1. The social experience

According to MediaPost research, over 1 in 4 young consumers aged 14-29 say they use a mobile phone while browsing in a physical store, seeking guidance, input and validation from their friends online. For example, Taco Bell understands this concept through utilizing Snapchat to challenge the college demographic to “Doodle Wars” that can be shared and saved on the app. This gives more attention to brand related drawings on Twitter, all the while steering college consumers to the brand-focused content.

  1. Mobile-to-live support

Almost 60% of college students recently told Radial that they want online chat and communications incorporated into the in-store experience. An important opportunity is to match a conversation started on a mobile device to a moment when an in-store representative can pick it up offline. The hospitality industry sets a great example of this kind of handoff, with staff having the information available to pick up the mobile conversation.

  1. In-the-moment inspiration

Brands that commit to the omnichannel experience can plug into college students’ openness to new ideas in the moment. Advertisers can prompt or seal the deal around restaurant visits, for example, by giving visitors the chance to skip the seating line by donating to a social cause on their smartphone. This opportunity also aligns with the demographic’s affinity for purchases that leverage philanthropic causes. Seventy percent of them will spend more on brands supporting what they believe to be worthy causes. This is an example of an omnichannel solution that has in-the-moment meaning, driving sales and loyalty.

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