The back-to-school shopping season is the second-biggest shopping season of the year. Deloitte released its annual BTS survey results just a couple of weeks ago, and studies indicated the average parent(s) will spend about $510 on school items this year.
More interestingly, 49% of purchases will be made via online retailers or e-commerce sites. This is up from 44% just 12 months ago. Retailers must enact strong back-to-school campaigns and e-commerce strategies to capitalize on this shift in how parents (and students) spend their money each year.
1. Appeal to Kids
Parents will spend approximately $27 billion in 2018 on back-to-school shopping, and children will likely influence nearly 80%, or $21 billion, of these purchases. Creating ad campaigns or e-commerce strategies that are visible to kids and appeal to their sense of style and language can help persuade parents to spend dollars where their kids spend their time.
2. Make Shopping Easier
E-commerce sites can enact tools that act as virtual shopping lists to make adding supplies to the cart easier. Imagine allowing kids the ability to drag and drop items into a virtual basket, while giving them a pre-set budget that they must adhere to. For example, Amazon allows kids aged 13-17 to get their own Amazon login under their parents sign-in and shop using the Amazon App. Parents then approve any orders created by the kids or set pre-arranged spending limits – all while taking advantage of family-shared Prime Memberships and related benefits.
3. In-Store Vs. E-Commerce: Cross-Promote
83% of shoppers still patronize a physical mass merchant for back-to-school shopping. Knowing this, businesses that maintain both an online presence and a physical site must capitalize on the sales opportunities present in both. For instance, a higher percentage of people buy computers via an online site than they would traditional school supplies. Creating an e-commerce strategy and a back-to-school marketing campaign that includes in-store shopping incentives that pair with, instead of competing against, online offerings can spread shopper dollars across both physical and virtual storefronts.
4. Be Inclusive
Even though the term “back-to-school” tends to elicit images of glue sticks and pencil erasers, college students and older experience back-to-school mode, too. E-commerce strategies should include those in the different age brackets. Think about the supply needs and budgets students experience at each level. Identify your target audience and update the messaging for each group.
5. Create Bundle Shopping
Competing against a major online retailer for a greater market share in the laptop area might be tough. However, developing one-click shopping opportunities that bundle a laptop, laptop case, backup hard drive, and more for one low price can create the blend of customer value and increased profitability for the retailer. Plus, time is money, and shoppers appreciate the idea of ready-made packages that eliminate the normal hassles of buying numerous pieces of technology at one time.
Back-to-school shopping is a high volume time of year for many e-commerce brands. School supplies aren’t regulated to the general list of computers and backpacks. They include dorm room furniture, new clothes, snacks, and the list goes on and on. Create e-commerce strategies that allow your brand to fit into the back-to-school campaign category or at least become part of the messaging that is on everyone’s mind.