After Christmas and Black Friday, the back to school season is the biggest shopping event of the year and so consumers are bound to spend more. In fact, recent analysis by Mintel showed that last year parents spent £915 million on back to school kit, with £143 million spent on computing equipment and other gadgets.
While parents and guardians are extremely prone to spending during this period, they will also be expecting lower prices and higher levels of convenience in today’s competitive retail landscape. These days, retailers won’t see a frenzied one-day spending spree, but rather families shopping over a longer period of time as they search for the best deals. This could mean repeat business and additional spending, provided the shoppers have a great experience first time round.
To engage family shoppers and capitalise on back to school season, retailers need to make their in-store experience a positive and memorable one that consumers will share with their friends, and return to for future shopping. This can include several tactics, such as promoting only the most desirable items based on sales data from last year and current trends on the market; creating a dedicated back to school space in the store for all the relevant items, bundles and promotions to improve convenience; and clearly demonstrating how the products fit into people’s school lives.
As retailers need to engage the whole family, from cost-aware parents to trend-conscious youngsters, brand ambassadors come to the fore. Their impeccable social skills and far reaching knowledge of the products are crucial in tailoring the experience to each of the family members and appealing to their individual needs. The resulting emotional connection will be retailers’ trump card this back to school shopping season, ensuring customer satisfaction, building store loyalty and increasing profit.
Andy Tow, is the managing director of Retail Marketing Group.