Back-to-School: 3 steps to win the season
Officially, the Back-to-School (BTS) season starts mid-June and lasts until August. Though that’s the case, the season is showing signs of lengthening, with some brands extending their BTS season to September. Moreover, data shows shoppers are already shopping for the BTS season right now, which should only give brands more incentivization to start their efforts […]
Officially, the Back-to-School (BTS) season starts mid-June and lasts until August. Though that’s the case, the season is showing signs of lengthening, with some brands extending their BTS season to September. Moreover, data shows shoppers are already shopping for the BTS season right now, which should only give brands more incentivization to start their efforts now too.
Shoppers are starting to shop earlier so they can claim inventory and do their research before buying. Between stock issues and inflation, consumers are shifting their BTS shopping strategies to ensure they get everything they want at the best price. Not only are consumers comparing retailers and platforms, but they’re also comparing channels. People are adopting omni-channel shopping to find the best deal across channels as well as leveraging the ‘add to cart’ feature so they can see when deals and discounts are implemented.
*Research conducted by Quantum Metric
The Back-to-School budget is going to be large, with some consumers anticipating to spend Holiday-level amounts. According to a survey conducted by Quantum Metric, 41% of shoppers anticipated spending $200-$500 and 21% said they would spend $500-$1,000 (the latter range being equivalent to Holiday spending).
After doing their research on where the best prices and rewards are, shoppers are going big with one merchant…
- 74% of consumers plan to make multiple purchases in one trip to help with budgeting or help reduce costs on the other end, i.e. shipping and handling (per Quantum Metric).
This is a long period of time that has the potential to significantly impact brands’ bottom lines and set the foundation for Q4 success. Set your brand up for success with the following 3 steps.
- Don’t discount, instead give value-based rewards and promotions.
BTS shoppers are looking for the best deals, but that doesn’t mean you have to implement frequent sales and discounts. In fact, frequent sales and discounts are unsustainable for brands for the following reasons:
- It trains shoppers to wait until there’s a discount to buy.
- It devalues the product by putting emphasis on the price.
- It attracts the bargain shoppers who won’t necessarily be loyal customers in the long run.
- It eats into profit margins.
Instead, brands should look into providing rewards and promotions to give incentivization while also maintaining brand value and perception during the BTS season. What do value-based rewards and promotions look like? Listed out below are a few ideas for your brand:
- Cash Back
- Pre-launch discounts
- Free shipping
- Buy One, Get One (BOGO)
- Free gift with purchase
These alternatives to heavy discounting will offer BTS shoppers financial incentivization while maintaining positive consumer perception.
- Stack incentives.
To really be competitive, retailers are leveraging multiple strategies to attract shoppers. For example, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and Buy Online Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) have been popular add-ons to create additional incentivization for consumers.
- Boost visibility through different media and channels.
Use media to boost promotion and reward performance. By leveraging media, brands can support brand discovery and generate awareness for deals, promotional events, and Cash Back offers.
Not only can media increase exposure, but providing an omni-channel experience can too. Consumers are jumping across multiple channels looking for the best deals. The more consumers shop and see you across various channels, the more likely they are to spend money with your brand and expand your share of wallet.
Leverage these three tactics in your Back-to-School strategy and you’ll be gaining high-quality customers throughout the season and setting your brand up for Q4 success.