Are you looking for ways to stand out during the back to school season? With the school year just around the corner, here are some school shopping trends to help you successfully reach consumers.
1. Online Shopping Growth:
There has been a continued rise in online shopping during the back to school season. Due to convenience and safety concerns, online retail has been popular when it comes to school supplies, clothing, and electronics. 39% of school shoppers are planning to rely online during the back to school season. It is important to create a cohesive omnichannel shopping experience that blends the online and in-store experience. Even if you do not have a physical store, it is essential to design your e-commerce store in a way that is easy to navigate especially when it comes to school products. This may seem trivial, but the school shopping season can be severely stressful to many because of low products, time constraints, or even just having to interact with so many people. Having an uncomplicated website will help you stand out and gain a loyal customer base.
Implement different marketing strategies and communicate across your e-commerce and brick-and-mortar during the school spending season. Your e-commerce store can put you at a great advantage when it comes to school marketing ideas. You can have back to school promotions, digital advertising, and essential supplies all linked back to your website. You can even follow any school trends through you social media channels as well as reaching a wider potential customer base. Generating a email list can help welcome new customers, let them be the first to know about school sales, and feel more connected to the brand itself.
2. Mobile Shopping
Not only has there been an increase in online shopping, there has been a serge of people using smartphones and tablets to browse and purchase items. Optimizing your online store to make it as mobile-friendly as possible is key to success. As mentioned before, an easy to use website is important for the back to school rush, however, that doesn’t always mean that the website is built for mobile devices. Over 50% of online traffic comes from smart phone and tablet devices, if your website isn’t suited for them, they’ll just find a new website that is. Although most online retailers’ platforms adjust from desktop to mobile automatically, make sure that all of your graphics and images properly load and call-to-action buttons are in place.
Mobile shopping opens up new doors to an app for your e-commerce store. With an app, your users can get direct notification on any special discounts or school deals you are having straight to their phone. The user interface will also be much more convenient than an online website using a mobile device. The convenience of the app can lead to more sales as people can purchase with such ease.
Virtual try-ons and augmented reality can be integrated into your mobile website or app. Companies such as Warby Parker use virtual try-ons to see what their products would look like on their customers. As students are going back to school, they do not have time to go to as many brick-and-mortar stores as they wish, which often leads to less sales overall. With the augmented reality and virtual try-ons, your customers can choose what products will work best for them, without having to return or not purchase certain items.
3. Personalization and Recommendations
Make sure to know exactly what your consumer behaviors are. This can be done using data analytics and AI to provide personalized recommendations and tailored shopping experiences for your school shoppers. By understanding what your customers are looking for, you can strategize back to school campaigns, promotions on school items, and even back to school sales. You can also utilize Google Analytics to research popular searches and keywords consumers are using to find any school items they are looking for. Google Analytics can be used to find what consumers are looking up that result in no matches. This way you can improve on these words and generate an increase in sales.
18% of college shoppers, ages 18 to 24, would rather have items that have been personally recommended to them rather than searching through as they are in person shopping. 12% of customers ages 55 to 64 have stated that a personalized recommendation is a critical feature to their e-commerce experience. Although these percentages are small, it is still best to know what your consumers find important. If your e-commerce business is curated towards Gen-Z, it is best to create recommendations for your audience. In general, knowing how much time and effort to invest in personalizations is crucial for your business. Creating advertisements using their data will also help your store as customers are able to easily find what they are searching for.
Even if your e-commerce shop doesn’t specialize in school supplies, you can still take advantage of the back to school period. You can create intriguing back to school campaigns, showing that your products can benefit students returning to the academic year. This can range anywhere from fashion items to electronics! As long as shoppers don’t have to leave the comfort of their own home, they are more inclined to make purchases. Virtual try-ons are an extra step to bringing your customers comfort as they already know how the product will look.
4. Catering to your Audience
Having knowledge on what your customers are in need of is extremely vital for your e-commerce store. Aside from personalizations and recommendations, your business values and beliefs should match what certain consumers are searching for.
With higher demands for certain products, there can be price increases that may deter a customer from making a purchase. You can use this to your leverage and sell your items for less than your competitors. On the other hand, there may be consumers looking for sustainable and eco-friendly products, rather than trying to get their hands on as many low-priced items they can find. Finding what audience you want to cater towards will help you stand out and succeed.
As the school season approaches, there will be plenty of shoppers in need of their school gear as soon as possible. According to Adobe, 23% of those that participated in a back to school survey revealed that they buy their supplies on Amazon Prime Day in order to avoid the overwhelming rush. Even with shopping ahead, there can be times when a person needs to buy something last minute. That is when you as a business can offer same-day or next-day delivery. Really emphasizing on how fast and reliable your e-commerce store is can lead to more sales. In addition to this, making the experience as hassle free and having your customers avoid any stress will exponentially benefit your brand.
5. Alternative Payment Methods
Recently, there has been a rise in popularity of flexible payment options, such as installment plans or Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services, allowing customers to spread out their payments. Making upcoming school purchases, can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to college spendings. With the amount of textbooks, supplies, and even dorm necessities needed for the school period, college students and parents may end up spending thousands of dollars. By having an option to pay for their necessities little by little, customers will feel more at ease and even more likely to make their purchases. This payment method has become such a popular school trend that BNPL is said to compromise more about 25% of transactions made online by the year 2026.
Another popular alternative payment method is offering a digital wallet payment. 71% of consumers have stated that they usually pay online using their digital wallets rather than manually entering their card information into a website. Consumers under the age of 55, prefer this method because only around 20% actually have their physical card with them as they shop online. 44% of shoppers over the age of 55 are wary of shopping online due to scams. Digital wallets are able to deal with this problem as they can shield card data from retailers during check out. Overall, creating a safe and convenient check out process will lead consumers to more likely make purchases.
Remember, understanding your customers’ shopping behaviors is crucial to standing out during the back to school season. Even if you feel like your e-commerce business has no relation to the season, successful marketing as well as emphasizing why your products are important will serve as a great advantage for you.
We hope that you were able to find these tips helpful. To learn more, come chat with us to gain even more techniques you can use to navigate your way through this summer!