Are You Ready To Go Back To School?

 In Be Calendar Relevant, Marketing Plan

While we’re still a ways from Labor Day, for some kids, the end of summer is near. Many K-12 schools across the country begin school soon, and most colleges classes begin at the end of the month.

Back to school shopping, conveniently coupled with tax-free shopping weekends in several states, make August and September the second most profitable shopping months of the year for many retailers (following the holidays, of course).

All that being said, the National Retail Federation has released the results of its Back-to-School Shopping Survey. It shows the combined spending for back-to-school and back-to-college shopping is expected to reach over $72 billion! Is your business ready for the onslaught of moms, dads and students looking for the trendiest clothing, dorm decor and school supplies and accessories?

Check out the trends below!

1. Smart Shoppers Are Spending Less – With so many price comparison websites and apps out there, savvy shoppers know better than to buy the first back-to-school item they come across. More and more customers are doing intense price comparison shopping both online and in-store before committing to a purchase. Do a little price comparison shopping yourself – how do products you carry or promotions you’re running match up to your competition? How can you add value to your customer’s experience so that they rely on you for their back-t0-school shopping needs?

2. Dorm Decor is In Demand! – While customers are spending less than last year on back to school supplies, they aren’t cutting back on dorm decor for their college students. Bedding, accent pieces and other personalized items to make students feel at home in their new dorm or apartment will continue to be at the top of most parents’ shopping lists this year. Does your retail business have anything in stock that would be perfect for a dorm room? If so, group the items together, and make a prominent display at the front of your store, so the “back to college” essentials are easy to find!

3. Parents Are Shopping Earlier AND Later – Many shoppers started purchasing back to school supplies in July when items first hit the shelves AND many shoppers are waiting until school is underway to see what their children really “need” in terms of clothing, tech accessories, etc. So, if you missed the early bird rush, have no fear! Many parents will be back in September to pick up additional items for their students. It’s a great opportunity to keep the “back to school” promotions alive at your location.

What other back-to-school or back-to-college trends have you noticed recently? Does your retail shop run promotions specifically for this type of shopper, or do you just carry on with business as usual?

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