You’ve seen them already, haven’t you? Back-to-school commercials. It feels like summer just got started but marketers are already geared up and promoting back-to-school (BTS) season. It’s no wonder, considering that BTS is the biggest shopping event of the year, second only to the holiday season.
Last year, back-to-school and back-to-college season sales in the U.S. reached a new peak at $885.2 billion and increased 3.5 percent on the previous year. The breakout hit: eCommerce sales accounted for almost 10 percent, with $85.55 billion in revenue recorded between July and August 2018. eCommerce sales have seen a 15.4 percent increase, as more and more consumers move their school-related spending online.1 The driving force behind conducting BTS shopping digitally? According to the latest surveys, it’s mothers of students, 74 percent of which will use a smartphone to shop for BTS supplies online in 2019.
Don’t let the competition school you. Make sure you’re ready for the season with these helpful BTS marketing strategies. And for even more guidance on this important season, make sure to grab our handy BTS eBook. You’ll find the link for your free download at the end of this post.
Six Winning Strategies for Best-In-'Class' (BTS) Marketing 2019
According to a 2018 survey by Deloitte, about two-thirds of shoppers plan to begin their back-to-school shopping before August, so start BTS initiatives in mid-July at the latest. What’s more, early-bird shoppers tend to spend about $100 more than shoppers who get a later start.
Crush it with A.I.
With over $95 billion in sales to be generated on digital channels this year, there’s plenty of customer data floating around. Marketing-specific A.I. built natively into Selligent Marketing Cloud transforms this data into personalized product recommendations for each back-to-school shopper, making each interaction more relevant and valuable.
Sweeten the deal
Use coupon codes at checkout. Shoppers love a good deal and 77 percent of BTS shoppers actively look for discounts and coupons. Use SEO terms like “Back to School” combined with “deals,” “sales,” “promo,” “2019,” “school shopping,” and “school giveaway.”
Talk to decision makers
The average U.S. household will spend $510 on back-to-school shopping this year. Shoppers above 25 years of age are mostly the demographic in charge of the spending. Finding the lowest price is top priority for 71 percent of shoppers above 25 years old. And don’t forget teachers, who spend over $1.6 billion on supplies for students.
Raise some school spirit
Back-to-school is a great way to generate traffic and boost your brand presence across digital and analog channels. Create some events in-store and online with contests or giveaways, early-bird specials, discounts for consumer data, in-store experiences, and other creative ideas to generate engagement and sales.
Why not use your loyalty program to market your back-to-school deals? First of all, loyalty programs offer the perfect format to collect more relevant consumer data. And second, a strong 82 percent of customers have said they are more likely to shop at stores that offer some type of rewards program.
Keep it Consistent Across Channels
Today’s consumers expect consistent experiences from brands when they switch between channels. According to a recent study, 73 percent of U.S. shoppers today follow an omnichannel journey on their path to purchase, compared to only seven percent who are purely digital. Budget-wise, these shoppers spend nine percent more in-store and 10 percent more online than non-omnichannel shoppers. Adopt an omnichannel marketing platform like Selligent to stay on customers’ nice list.
For a more in-depth guide to BTS marketing, grab a copy of our eBook, The Selligent Back-to-School Marketing Playbook below. You’ll find additional tips and strategies, insightful research, and some top-of-the-class examples of how Selligent Marketing Cloud customers use our platform’s capabilities to elevate BTS revenue.
With that said, class is dismissed. It’s time to put your learning into action for back-to-school 2019!