Ready or not, back to school season is in full swing. 37% of families have sucked it up and started shopping for pencils, crayons, shoes, and all those other school essentials. The other 63% are likely to start shopping this weekend, especially if they live on the East Coast or in the deep South, since the majority of the seventeen states that offer sales tax holidays for back to school are giving shoppers a break from August 1-3.
We know that the back to school season is second only to Black Friday-Christmas for many marketers. The experts at the National Retail Federation (NRF) predict that the typical family with kids attending kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, or high school will spend $669.28 this year, up 5% from last year. Total back to school spending is estimated to hit $26.5 billion in 2014. That’s Billion with a B, as in back to school is big business.
Now that we’ve established that back to school shopping is a ginormous opportunity, let’s take a look at some of the trends that are being predicted for back to school 2014 and see how we can make them actionable.
Tip #1: Offer discounts online and on mobile purchases.
In recent years, omnichannel retail has been gaining ground, and we’re seeing that same trend among back to school shoppers. Check out these numbers.
- Over 33% of back to school shoppers plan to do at least some of their shopping online this year.
- 19.6% are shopping online to save money, which means they’re seeking out sales and discounts.
- 36.7% of back to school shoppers with smart phones are going to use them to do a little research before they buy, a record high according to the NRF who has been surveying shoppers about their smartphone usage and purchases since 2011.
- 21.8% will use their smartphone to make a purchase (another new record)
- 31.4% will buy back to school supplies using their tablet