Students are still on summer vacation, but retailers are already planning for the back-to-school shopping season.
It’s the second largest consumer-spending period for retailers behind the winter holidays and a huge opportunity for marketers to increase brand awareness and expand their customer base. Average back-to-school spending has continued to increase every year. The average American with kids in grades K-12 shelled out approximately $688 during the last back-to-school season, up from $603 in 2011.Here are 5 facts you need to consider about the typical back-to-school shopper so you can make your school-themed marketing campaigns better than ever.
1. Timing is everything
Did you know the timing of back-to-school spending varies by product type? Shoppers often buy office supplies at the beginning of the spending holiday and then clothing in late August and September during the start of the school year. They do this typically after kids see what their peers are wearing to school. Since children grow so fast, they also want to make sure the clothing will fit when the first day of school starts. Also, back-to-school purchasing started in July last year, earlier than usual. Marketers should keep this purchase timing in mind in 2013, offering relevant products when their target market is buying.
2. Technology has changed shopping habits
More than ever, families – especially moms – are browsing and buying online. Online searches including back-to-school-related words increased significantly from 2011 to 2012. Expect your customers to browse and purchase online. Make your campaigns mobile-friendly, and lead your fans to mobile-optimized websites so their shopping experiences are as seamless as possible. Last year, 40-50% of moms purchased apparel, books and electronics from a tablet. Offer “Fans” a variety of options, create a social “catalogue” that make it easy to share and purchase your products online.
Your company’s mobile app can also make the back-to-school process even easier. Click below to find out how to develop your company‘s mobile app.
3. Everyone’s searching for good deals.
When shoppers make big purchases, they want big discounts. Nobody wants to break the bank before the school year begins! Give your customers what they want. Run contests with compelling rewards and create look books of affordable back-to-school products. Offer coupons, discounts, free shipping and other exclusives to get your fans to buy more. They are sure to tell their friends about their savings. Give parents resources to make their shopping seamless and easy. Anticipate what they want, then give it to them! Run contests with basic back-to-school giveaways to expand your reach and build your customer base.
4. Kids influence purchase decisions
It’s not only adult shoppers who are getting savvier. Moms with kids between the ages of 6 and 17 are highly influenced by their offspring. Marketers need to not only appeal to parents, but also to their kiddos. Run campaigns geared towards students so they ask for your products by name. Something else to consider is charitable giving/cause related marketing. I’ve touched on this in previous blog posts. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to support a brand if you know your money helped support a worthy cause? Raise awareness about relevant issues in your community by partnering with a charity that resonates with students and parents. It could be as simple as providing back packs and school supplies to under-privileged children.
5. A good review goes a long way
During back-to-school season, shoppers are likely to see products and special offers on social networks and then talk about them with their friends. Reward moms for reviewing your products and sharing their reviews with friends. Moms trust other moms; encourage those moms to trust your brand.
So, it’s time to get started. Get in the back-to-school groove and create campaigns that matter.