What you need to know about your Back-to-School Marketing Strategy

For most of us, this year’s back-to-school season is a bit different. This could be more virtual learning or returning to the classroom. Data shows that 46% of families plan to go to school in person. We are all trying our best to adapt to the circumstances of each individual. What does this mean for businesses now that consumers have started to prepare to go back to school? We’ll answer your questions about the best strategies for back-to-school marketing and whether or not you should even consider a campaign.

Which brands/advertisers should be involved?

Most ecommerce brands will want to participate in the back-to-school sales, but certain segments will generate substantial sales.

In the case of students, 50% said that they would shop for clothing, 42% said that they would shop for shoes, and 40% said they would purchase a computer bag or backpack. You would do well to start advertising in July if you’re in the apparel business to take advantage of these trends.

In addition, 37% of students plan to buy school supplies and stationery. In comparison, 35% intend to purchase a computer, tablet, or other electronic device, and 24% are planning on buying housewares or small appliances. In the past, these items were usually purchased in brick-and-mortar stores. However, school spending has been shifting online over the last few years.

Back to school marketing by channel and numbers

According to a recent article by eMarketer, as we prepare for back-to-school season, retailers can expect to make an estimated $828 Billion (with a “B”) in sales. Ecommerce sales will grow at a rate of 15.3%. This is well above the 2.6% retail sales growth expected during the back-to-school shopping season.

The data shows that back-to-school is a time when parents are more concerned about their budget. Nearly a third of parents search for coupons in stores while shopping. If you are using coupons, target dads, who tend to spend more than 37% when they are in charge of the back-to-school shopping.

Families are increasingly turning to omnichannel shopping for their entire shopping experience.

  • Half of the shoppers browse online first before buying in-store (while two-thirds browse in-store, then buy online).
  • Facebook should be included in your list of places to spend money on advertising. One-quarter of parents use Facebook to find fashion inspiration for their kids.

You can’t focus solely on one channel, given that customers who use omnichannel spend 3.5 times as much money. To maximize your chances of getting a slice of the back-to-school pie, you need to consider the entire customer experience.

Why Expect increased costs and competition at this time

In 2020, more schools will be offering online learning. This is causing a 70% decrease in the amount of money spent on “Back to School TV Advertising” compared to last year. In 2019, there will be more in-person learning options available, whether part-time, full-time, or a combination of both. 46% of families plan to attend in-person school, and 20% are planning to do a hybrid of in-person and online learning.

Target, Walmart, and Amazon dominate the back-to-school campaign. The overall retail advertising spend for back-to-school in 2020 is down 31% YoY. However, digital advertising has increased by 4%. This is because investment has shifted away from traditional advertising sources like TV and print to digital advertising.

As the top retail brands increase their investment in digital marketing, we can expect advertising costs to rise as they have in previous years. This also offers brands the opportunity to advertise on these ecommerce platforms since more consumers are shopping and making purchases for back-to-school during this period.

Make your back-to-school marketing relevant to the latest trends

Three of the top trends in back-to-school initiatives post-pandemic are:

  • Price – Since families and individuals are still recovering from the financial strains caused by the pandemic, they will be focusing on affordability. Discounts, bundles, and holiday sales are all included.
  • Convenience: Shopping for back-to-school retail products can take a lot of time. By focusing on bundles, class sets, and BOGO, consumers can get the majority of their shopping list quickly. In-store positioning of products, like end caps and other strategic placements, can increase sales.
  • Accessibility: 2020 will bring new shopping methods, and the back-to-school season should be based on flexibility. Online shopping with free delivery and curbside pickup are two major benefits for busy consumers.

Back-to-school Marketing Strategies

Prepare to launch your back-to-school strategy sooner than ever. Prime Day was traditionally the unofficial start of the back-to-school shopping season, which began in mid-July. However, the new date has sparked the frenzy earlier this year. It’s already time to ramp up your marketing efforts. Shoppers have already stocked up on essential back-to-school products. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Be savvy about your Amazon strategy.

Amazon Prime membership rates have risen by 25% year-over-year despite the pandemic. Amazon’s membership rates are booming, with a 25% YoY increase in memberships.

Maximize revenue by using first-party data.

It’s time to use all of the data that you have collected. Build custom sequences and tailor email content based on specific actions taken by customers, such as content consumed or purchases.

  • Do you have past customers who buy only classroom supplies? Target your content and messaging towards teachers.
  • Does there exist a group of shoppers that only buys girls’ clothes?
  • If you’re looking to go to the next step, you can partner with a digital agency to create look-alike audiences using first-party data based on previous purchasers.

Where is the planning done?

You’d be remiss if you didn’t have a strategy for these social media platforms. With so many shoppers looking to plan their back-to-school shopping on Pinterest and finding kids’ fashion inspiration on Facebook, it would be a mistake not to. If you have a site built on any of the five ecommerce platforms linked to Pinterest (Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, IBM Commerce SalesForce Commerce Cloud), invest in Buyable Pins. This will allow shoppers to purchase items while they are planning. Convenience is key for this audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *