Make the Most of Back-to-School Season

Aug 12, 2019

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

Joe Fox had it right. There’s something exciting about back-to-school season, full of anticipation for a fresh start, new beginnings and opportunities. As summer winds down, back-to-school shopping is in full swing: studies show that consumers spend 20% more in stores in August relative to the rest of the year. Below, we’ve rounded up some tips and trends for retailers to keep in mind to make the most of this shopping season.

Go mobile

The modern customer almost always has their mobile phone in hand, ready to browse for deals as they commute to work or stand in line at Starbucks: 73% of shoppers search for items to purchase on their mobile device. Retailers need to capitalize on this device that customers are already so engaged with. Optimize your mobile site, and leverage geo-targeting to entice customers to visit a store in their proximity with offers personalized by region. Unifying the online and offline customer journey by tying together your mobile and in-store strategy will help retailers maximize store traffic this shopping season.

Let the price be right

Studies show that for back-to-school shopping, it’s not convenience, products, or even the brand or experience that’s the most important factor, but the price. To make the most of this season, retailers should ensure that they’re providing high value to their customers through bundled items and coupons, while also creating the opportunity for customers to accumulate rewards through a loyalty program. In this way, retailers can both attract new customers and extend the relationship by cultivating brand affinity and driving customer retention.

Fresh threads

Laptops and backpacks are definitely popular back-to-school items, but shoppers this season spend the most on new clothing. Retailers can capitalize on high demand for new apparel by leveraging technology that provides insights into which specific clothing items customers are looking at on their website and delivering personalized offers for those products across different channels. Personalized omnichannel messaging helps marketers build customer engagement to drive conversion and increase average order values.

Take stock

As notebooks, clothes, shoes, electronics and other supplies fly off the shelves this season, retailers need to keep up and stay on top of available inventory. By implementing technology that gives them real-time insights into which products are available or selling out fast and in which store locations, retailers can better optimize their supply chain to ensure that their customers find the products they want, right where they want them.

Back-to-school season is well underway, but there’s still time for retailers to adjust their strategy to meet customer demand and capture greater revenue. By leveraging these insights and implementing the right technology, retailers can succeed at giving their customers the modern equivalent of that bouquet of sharpened pencils: a positive omnichannel experience that keeps customers coming back through fall, winter and beyond.

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