Back-to-School Ecommerce

Not Too Cool for School: Back-to-School Online Shopping Taking Off

Online Marketing

Every year, the back-to-school ads seem to crop up on TV and in circulars earlier and earlier, serving as an ominous reminder to kids that their summertime fun is nearing an end, and soon enough they will be back in the classroom. This year is no different, with the annual onslaught beginning in mid-July. But, as new information from Google shows, this early advertising trend is no accident; surveys and search results show that this year had the earliest back-to-school shopping season on record. The reason behind this trend? The prevalence of online shopping and mobile search capabilities.

While July is mostly reserved for product research and comparison shopping, with August as the major buy time, marketers can use several factors to help tailor their online programs and capitalize on this major shopping season. For example, the information collected by Google and the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that 72 percent of parents buy school supplies and other school necessities (including apparel, footwear, and electronics) for their children from 1 week to 1 month prior to their child’s first day of school. School year start dates are varied across the country; marketers should time their marketing campaigns to best accommodate their target audience’s start date and hit that timing sweet spot.

Back-to-school is a time that cannot be ignored by ecommerce and other digital marketers; 62 percent of shoppers go online to either research or directly purchase back-to-school gear. Picking up steam this year according to Google is the importance of mobile in the school shopping process; 34 percent of shoppers will use mobile at some point in the process, mostly to locate a retailer or to compare prices.

And prices are important to back-to-schoolers; 94 percent are influenced by promotions, and 65 percent are swayed by specific “back-to-school sales”. This infographic by Search Engine Watch helps further break out the specifics of Google’s data on back-to-school shoppers.

As July comes to a close, marketers better prepare themselves for the buying momentum to pick up, and capitalize on the opportunities that will present themselves from back-to-school shoppers. Not entirely sure how to make the most out of the dog days of summer? inSegment can help. Our experience with multiple digital marketing avenues puts us in a unique position to help you achieve your marketing goals.