August is passing by, and the back-to-school season is getting closer, finding all the parents ready to make their purchasing plans for the upcoming school year. It feels like every year some new uncertainties are coming out, either the Covid vaccinations and precautions of last year or the climate change alongside war and inflation.
As known, Back to school is the second largest spending event for families and although it’s a critical time for budgeting due to the financial impacts of inflation, there is no deduction in school preparations. Parents seem determined to make it happen for their children, willing to cut back on other spending areas to cover the school supplies cost. Consumers are resilient in the way they address today’s uncertainties, since they dealt with pandemic changes, having already adjusted virtual and hybrid learning needs. They are ready to spend and get their children fully prepared to return to classes.
“The back-to-school season is among the most significant shopping events for consumers and retailers alike, second only to the winter holiday season.” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
Let’s dive into the new trends that come along with the new normality issues. Retailers should refocus and keep an eye on what the consumers of today seek. Mental health and sustainability are high priorities when digital spending drops a bit.
According to Deloitte, despite high prices, the costs have risen to 8% by now, focused on clothing and accessories, school supplies, and COVID-related items. Moreover, it is noticed a shift in purchasing items addressed to children’s mental health and well-being, such as items for extracurricular activities, translated as an effort for kids to resocialize throughout the post-Covid season.
And what’s more? Sustainability concerns are across the board, as most consumers are seeking sustainable products. That finding means a lot for the next generations which are more sensitive to such matters and prefer to buy used or recyclable products, showing a tendency that merchants should take seriously into consideration. And it doesn’t end here, since consumers crave products sustainable for the planet, but also for their wallets.
When it comes to brand loyalty, here’s the main question. What makes consumers so willing to spend during this peculiar period of school supply replenishing, choosing one brand instead of another one?
The answer is simple: Discounts that matter and trust.
Essential Tips for BTS 2022:
• Discounts remain the most popular market type, especially on days like these. According to a JLL survey discount stores were the most popular and 78.2% of parents are planning to shop there for Back to School. Make discounts able to attract the parents and gain their trust in a competitive market landscape that tends to increase the prices in the name of the overall price increase that takes place. Discount coupons, appealing rewards, and loyalty marketing campaigns should be every brand’s main priority.
• Since the hybrid buying model is here to stay, brands should be omnichannel and proactive. Leverage all the Martech tools in-store and online to deliver customers’ needs through a remarkable shopping experience either online or brick-and-mortar, or even combining these two worlds – online & offline – simultaneously.
• Free shipping and deliverability are essential in determining where to shop as it seems. Retailers need to optimize their deliverability methods in order to be on time and more flexible by having Curbside pickup and buy online and pick up in-store options on the table.