Back-to-school season is upon us again. But did you know back-to-school season is the second biggest retail holiday? It’s estimated that parents will spend about $828 billion to set their child up for success at school this year, and that number is only expected to grow.
Parents want the best for their kids. The idea is almost universal. Which is why it should come as no surprise that back-to-school shopping can generate sales revenues in the billions.
How can your brand tap into this opportunity?
The Shelf recently explored this question in their newest infographic. You can see the full infographic below, but here are a few highlights.
- Timing Is Important
17% of the entire year’s retail sales happen during back-to-school shopping. So brands should ramp up their back-to-school marketing efforts well before the bell rings on the first day of class. While some parents do procrastinate and wait until the last minute to buy their kids supplies, many plan ahead, often buying some things weeks in advance.
But keep in mind that buying habits vary depending on the month. You want to put your brand in front of consumers at the right time in their shopping cycle. For example, things like clothing and notebooks hit their peak in July. Snacks and other food, however, see more action in August.
- Carefully Consider Pricing
Today, more than ever, shoppers are deal hunters. 46% of shoppers say that price is one of their main deciding factors. But not all products are created equal. Shoppers are heavily influenced by the price of items like clothes and shoes. But when it comes to electronics and food, quality trumps price.
- Digital Marketing Is Vital To Your Success
92% of parents use mobile devices during back-to-school shopping. Another 33% use their mobile devices when making back-to-school purchases in store.
Buyers today expect a seamless brand experience across multiple channels of communication before ultimately settling on a purchase. But the path that experience takes varies widely from person to person.
For example, two-thirds of all shoppers do something known as webrooming, where they research and preview an item online before eventually buying it in a store. It’s estimated that 36 cents of every dollar a consumer spends in a store was influenced by what they see about a brand online.
It’s important then to ensure that you’re offering your customers a positive, consistent omni-channel experience at every touch point and interaction with your brand, both online and offline. Customers coming through omni-channel experiences spend 3.5 times more than ones that are not fully integrated.
- Don’t Forget Dads… And Kids
Dads are often overlooked by marketers in this shopping season. It’s smart to include them though because on average they spend about 37% more than moms… mostly to save time. They’re also less likely to look for coupons on their phones while shopping.
And while kids don’t have any real control of their family’s purse strings, they do have a solid grip on their parents’ emotions. About 59% of shoppers today say they buy based on their kids’ preferences.
- Utilize Social Media
More parents today say they plan on using websites like Pinterest to plan their shopping lists. In fact, 25% report using the site to plan snacks and lunches. And about a quarter of parents say they’ve looked to Facebook for fashion purchase decisions.
Today, blogs and social media are generating as many purchases as traditional advertising found on TV and in magazines. So think about how you can creatively incorporate social media channels like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to achieve your marketing objectives.
Influencer marketing, for example, is a great way to drive awareness, engagement and sales for your brand, by tapping into bloggers and social influencers who parents turn to for advice and tips when making their buying decisions.
For more influencer marketing ideas, check out the infographic from The Shelf below.
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