The second largest retail season that should not be overlooked is Back to School shopping. On average, K-12 parents spend around $700 in July and August to get all the needed school supplies. College students and their families spend roughly $1,059 for their supplies.
From clothes to electronics, these families started their shopping endeavors about three weeks before school started in 2020. However, there are several surprising trends that companies need to be aware of to catch these spending dollars from shoppers for this sales season.
Check out three lessons to use for your back to school promotion strategy to fully engage customers.
Rising Mobile & Online Purchases
Within the last decade, people leveraged the benefits of their mobile devices to make online purchases at any time or location. A Harvard Business Review study found that 73% of respondents used multiple channels to find products. eCommerce shopping popularity also created an omnichannel environment where shoppers could instantly compare prices between shops and either have the item delivered or have it ready for pickup.
Due to the pandemic, even more shoppers turned online to purchase just about anything. Not only did this allow people to order items instantly whenever they needed them, it also allowed anxious shoppers to make purchases safely from home when concerned about social distancing. On average, roughly 51% of customers shopped for back to school items online, and 57% of customers shopped online at stores that had curbside or in-store pickup.
Even after the pandemic subsides and shops reopen at full hours, companies will continue to offer mobile and online shopping options to further diversify their customer base. U.S. eCommerce revenue is predicted to reach $740 billion by 2023, so capturing revenue through all sales channels requires robust and versatile Back to School promotion strategies to reach all desired consumers.
With Back to School shoppers able to find prices instantly on their mobile devices, they are now more price conscious on how to spend their money. It may take only a few seconds for customers to learn whether one price is indeed the best, or if another avenue offers better pricing. Then with only a few clicks on the mobile device, the shopper makes their purchase.
For this Back to School season, companies should look toward adopting dynamic pricing schemes. Dynamic pricing takes various factors into consideration—including the competitor's pricing, the product's perceived value, and market demand. Then the method generates the best product price that customers are willing to pay. This strategy ensures that the company can stay ahead of their competitors while boosting their ROI.
Earlier BTS Shopping Season
Back to School shoppers no longer wait until the last week of July or the beginning of August to start making purchases. The season starts earlier in the summer, as customers stock up on items during every sale and promotional deal to get items that can be used as Back to School supplies.
These deal seekers and bargain hunters frequent more off-price retailers to scout for the deals. Unlike shoppers who enter the store with a specific purchase in mind to do their business as fast as possible, the deal seekers may spend more time looking for any deal that catches their eyes. Within this group, 43% of these deal seekers will frequent these stores and 66% will shop at varying times throughout the summer months.
Revamping your Back to School promotion strategy to target these early shoppers may allow you to bring in more revenue during slower sales periods. By offering different pricing deals based on whether the bargain shopper goes to the store or makes a purchase online, you can capture different shoppers at every omnichannel sales point.
In addition, your sales strategy may also focus on combined deals for Back to School resources that always go together, such as writing pads and pencils. This tactic allows shoppers to get all the items they need during their shopping trip.
Versatile Back to School Promotion Strategies
Always keep in mind that your promotional strategies need to be revamped depending on shopping habits. As the pandemic has shown, circumstances may change quickly, and having a versatile and robust strategy allows you to modify it easily without losing any sales opportunities.
Learn more about the upcoming BTS season in our guide: