Back-to-school spending is set to soar – how can retailers finish best in class?

Posted on August 13, 2021
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It won’t be long before children are back in school and industry research suggests that spending will go through the classroom roof. This is the prime time for parents to buy everything from pencil case essentials to must- have PE accessories. The average parent will have spent €226 before their child passes through the school gate, up nine percent from the previous year, so what can retailers do to capitalise on this growing trend?

Teaching old dogs new tricks

As the world has changed, so have  spending habits, with many consumers  transitioning to  online shopping. This is where (if they haven’t already) retailers should focus on broadening their range of digital channels. In 2021 to date, 50% of Instagram’s one billion users visited a site after seeing a product advertised via a post.  By adopting this omnichannel approach and focusing on the digital/social side of product promotions, retailers are increasing visibility online as well as their regular footfall.

Consumers have adapted to an omnichannel shopping experience over the past year and this back-to-school season proves no different. 85% of retail consumers  use their mobile devices for everything from comparing prices to making everyday purchases, according to a Shopkick survey. Proof that relying solely on limited advertising channels won’t be enough to make the grade this year.

Focus on your best subject

Certain product categories are set to dominate back-to-school spending; clothing, electronics, footwear and general school supplies being the main four. Retailers that stock these products should focus on generating interest around these categories to make the most of the extra spending power/willingness to spend parents have.

The back-to-school sales period is limited. As school products can often be a summer afterthought for parents, last-minute marketing can be justified as long as it is planned in advance and before the first day of term. 42% of parents plan to shop less than one month prior to the first day of school meaning retailers can still act now in the hope of maximising sales.

How to be a consumer’s pet

80% of companies reported seeing an uplift since implementing personalisation in their marketing/communication plans. A simple change like this is the perfect way for retailers to connect with their audience on a human level. The non-generic approach has proven to work over the past year with 72% of consumers saying they only engage with personalised messaging. This is particularly easy to do with any good emailing tool that is used to mass produce emails. It simply involves setting ‘rules’ to the email in question which will allow users to use the customer’s name when initiating contact.

Marketing to parents will be no different and adding that personalised touch, in certain cases, will be the difference between retailers landing or losing a sale.

Personalisation is not the only way to make the most of this short selling window. As already established, consumer spending habits have changed significantly and retailer marketing can be based around this. Making consumers feel safe after the past year is an excellent angle for retailers to take especially when the products are going to be used by children. Parents will want reassurance that products bought were manufactured in a Covid conscious environment. 44% of families chose PPE as their top or second priority when it came to buying back-to-school products, highlighting just how important it is to provide peace of mind in consumer communications.

Extra-time urgency

As events reach their latter stages, this is the time to grab any last-minute sales before your campaigns close. Promoting last-minute deals with the end dates will create urgency for your customers making them feel as though they’ll miss out if they don’t act immediately.

Competitions are another tactic to raise brand awareness and gain good engagement. Social media competitions can encourage users to like your post and page, and sometimes even persuade them to tag a friend. The more likes/shares/tags you’re getting, the more people will see your post and become aware of your brand. The more people that become aware of your brand, the more customers you’re likely to gain.

Back-to-school sales and beyond, Kelkoo Group is here to help. Find out more on our website or get in touch with our team today to explore how our solutions could be the key to being in a class of your own.

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