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DoorDash Drives Student Memberships, Wooing Tech-Savvy Subscribers

In an effort to build enduring relationships with younger consumers, DoorDash is looking to drive adoption of its discounted DashPass for Students offering.

The aggregator announced Wednesday (Aug. 24) a deal to offer free coffee to student subscribers during the first week of school, aiming to drive signups for the program.

DoorDash is not the only aggregator looking to get customers on board early, offering discounted options for college students. Grubhub, for instance, has its free Grubhub+ Student Membership for on-campus restaurants at select colleges and universities. Meanwhile, competitors Uber and Instacart have no such student offerings through their respective Uber One and Instacart+ membership programs.

When it comes to restaurant orders, subscribers tend to be among the most tech-savvy customers, making them an attractive market for businesses looking to drive adoption of their digital features.

According to data from the February/March edition of PYMNTS’ Digital Divide study, “Digital Divide: Restaurant Subscribers and Loyalty Programs, restaurant subscribers are more motivated by tech features than non-subscribers, with more of the former than the latter reporting that they consider the digital experience, the availability of a loyalty program and the number of ordering channels when deciding between restaurants.

See more: Four in 10 Consumers Open to Restaurant Subscription Services

The market opportunity is significant. Overall, the study, created in collaboration with Paytronix and drawing from a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers, found that 42% of consumers are open to restaurant subscriptions.

Aggregators’ relatively low-priced membership programs can be an effective way for them to build loyalty, especially because subscription offerings direct from merchants can be too pricy for most consumers, such that third parties do not have to worry too much about competing with them.

The May edition of the Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, created in collaboration with subscription eCommerce platform, which drew from a census-balanced survey of more than 1,900 U.S. adults earlier this year, found that 56% of consumers would be interested in a grocery subscription if product prices were lower.

Read more: Inflation Prompts 10x Increase in Consumers Reevaluating Subscription Value

DoorDash and Grubhub’s efforts to woo students may go a long way, considering that Generation Z-ers lag behind millennials and bridge millennials when it comes to the average number of retail subscriptions they hold, according to the July edition of The Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, also created in collaboration with The study found that, while the average millennial held 4.7 retail subscriptions as of the most recent survey, and the average bridge millennial held 4.6, the average Gen Z-er only held 3.6 such subscriptions, tied with Gen X.

See more: Study Finds Subscribers Pay up for Convenience, Even With Inflation



About: The findings in PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed the responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. and showed strong demand for a single multifunctional super apps rather than using dozens of individuals ones.


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