Thursday, August 15, 2013

What Makes Last Minute Back-To-School Shoppers Buy

Back-to-school shopping is the second most profitable time of the year for online retailers next to the holidays. The National Retail Federation is expecting families to spend nearly $26.7 billion on back-to-school supplies, with 40% of consumers purchasing items online.

According to the Google Shopping blog, the majority of consumers begin researching back-to-school items and ideas in middle-to-late July, while over 60% of consumers actually begin purchasing by mid-August.

Well, it's that time! As consumers continue searching the Internet for the best deals on clothing, classroom supplies, books and electronics, we wanted to share some helpful insights on what these "last minute" shoppers are looking for when making purchasing decisions:
  • 94% of consumers are influenced by promotions
  • 74% noted that free shipping is a top motivator
  • 65% are influenced by back-to-school sales
  • 49% said that online delivery tracking is important
  • 35% said that free return-shipping would make them more likely to buy from a company

Based on these findings, we have briefly highlighted strategies to consider specifically targeting this type of consumer:

Showcase promotions: These price-conscious consumers are actively searching for deals. Be sure that whatever back-to-school promotion your company is offering is prominent throughout your website, social media and other online platforms to stand out among the many back-to-school retailers. Also, consider offering your social media followers exclusive deals on back-to-school items. 

Clearly state shipping and return policies: Because shipping and returns are among the most important features consumers are looking for, be sure to clearly display your policies to ensure customer satisfaction and positive feedback ratings. Include these policies on the item's listing page, checkout, and email correspondences. 

Optimize SEO:  Consumers use search engines as a starting point in their search for the best back-to-school deals. Take a look at your keywords to help drive traffic to your site. Focus on those keywords that consumers are searching for: used textbooks, school supplies, best laptops for college, school uniforms, etc. 

Beyond back-to-school: Last, but certainly not least, keep in mind that these customers are likely to revisit your site for holiday purchases if they have a pleasurable experience with your company. Keep your customers happy and your feedback ratings positive to soar above the competition. 


by Samantha Warner
Marketing Extraordinaire