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Back-to-school shopping has already begun. Here’s 5 tips to win shoppers

The school year isn't over yet, but back-to-school shopping has already begun, a recent article from eMarketer. We're sharing their insights below on when retailers can expect parents and students to start shopping. But that’s not all. Keep reading for five tips on how to set your brand up for success this back-to-school season.

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The school year isn’t over yet, but back-to-school shopping has already begun, according to a recent article from eMarketer. We’re sharing their insights below on when retailers can expect parents and students to start shopping. But that’s not all. Keep reading for five tips on how to set your brand up for success this back-to-school season.

Consumers have already begun back-to-school-shopping

By Arielle Feger

Key stat: Nearly half (49%) of US adults will begin back-to-school shopping by early July, according to a March 2024 survey by LTK.

Beyond the chart:

  • We forecast US back-to-school retail sales will grow 3.2% to reach $81.16 billion this year.
  • The majority (65.1%) of those sales will take place in physical retail locations. However, ecommerce’s portion of back-to-school sales has risen from 31.5% in 2021 to 34.9% in 2024.
  • If the first half of the year is any indication, retailers will need to rely heavily on deals and promotions to secure their share of retail sales. However, they need to make sure they’re also strategically placing them throughout the summer to ensure they’re appealing to the maximum number of consumers.

Use this chart:

  • Plan back-to-school merchandising and promotions.
  • Demonstrate the importance of early back-to-school marketing.

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For brands and retailers, back-to-school is a long season with the potential to significantly impact brands’ bottom lines and set the foundation for Q4 success. Set your brand up for success with the following 5 steps.

  1. Don’t discount, offer value-based rewards and promotions – BTS shoppers are looking for the best deals and savings, but that doesn’t mean you have to implement frequent sales and discounts. Instead, brands should look into providing rewards and promotions to give incentivization while also maintaining brand value and perception during the BTS season.
  2. 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.
  3. Deliver convenience and flexibility with omnichannel experiences – Consumers use a variety of channels (like in store, mobile, or online) to shop and find deals. An omnichannel approach allows brands to capitalize on consumers’ buying preferences and make shopping convenient for customers regardless of where they’re at.
  4. Boost visibility through different media and channels – Use media to boost promotion and reward performance. By leveraging media, brands can support brand discovery and amplify awareness for deals, promotional events, and Cash Back offers.
  5. Meet your audience in all the places they shop – 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.

Get in touch to plan your back-to-school season on Rakuten!

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