Social Media & Influencers: The Game-Changers of College Life!
With viral TikTok trends including #GRWM (132.5B+ views), #BamaRush (2.8B+ views), and dorm room tours, college students are changing up the typical Back-to-School shopping list inspired by social media.
In fact, a new survey from Rakuten, the leading shopping destination for Cash Back and rewards, in partnership with Rakuten Insight, the trusted research partner for Asia, U.S. & Beyond, just found that 87% of college-aged students agree that social media influences the purchases they make when preparing for the school year.
Forget school supplies like notebooks, pens and binders leading Back-to-School shopping lists. Students are now shopping for makeup and skincare products to perfect their daily beauty routine for Back-to-School. Notably, 65% of college students have purchased beauty products for the school year specifically inspired by TikTok’s #GRWM (“Get Ready With Me”) content.
Social Media, Influencers & Specific Campaigns Shaping College Students’ Back-to-School Shopping
- ○ Social media: 87% (Top2Box) agree that social media has influenced back-to-school purchases
- ○ Influencers: 71% of college students either fully agree or somewhat agree that TikTok influencers have impacted their dorm room purchase decisions
- ○ Specific campaigns such as #GRWM & # BamaRushTok are influencing purchases
Whilst there is concern over back-to-school expenses, only 3% plan to spend less and 67% are willing to pay extra for ‘social media worthiness.’
Parental Support, Social Media Influence, and Economic Concerns in Back-to-School Shopping for Students
- ○ Even though college students feel they are paying from their own savings, 78% of parents provide financial support to their child & 64% of parents provide ideas
- ○ The impact of Social Media on Back-to-School shopping for parents of students is clear:
- • Social media: Platforms such as TikTok & Instagram provide purchase ideas for 60% of parents
- • Over half of parents (56%) feel under pressure to keep up with back-to-school social media trends
- ○ The economic climate is on the minds of parents of college-age children:
- • 82% either much or slightly more concerned than in previous years
- • 90% would appreciate any savings through cashback or discounts to help with the expense
The landscape of Back-to-School shopping for college students is undergoing a significant transformation as social media, influencers, and targeted campaigns converge. While expenses remain a valid concern, the allure of being “social media worthy” is driving the majority of students to carefully prioritise their purchases. Furthermore, parental support and guidance play a crucial role in this process, creating a dynamic interplay between social media influence, parental involvement, and economic factors. As a result, the shopping experience is constantly evolving, adapting to the ever-changing dynamics influenced by these factors.
Download the results here!
For more infographics, updates and our original survey reports, follow us on LinkedIn or subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of the page.