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How to make the most of the Back to School period - PC Retail

How to make the most of the Back to School period

Gekko’s Dan Todaro outlines why the Back to School season is such a big opportunity for retailers
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Gekko’s group MD Dan Todaro offers up his top tips to retailers planning to cash in on the Back to School season.

With more and more young people going to university, Back to School is becoming increasingly more important alongside Black Friday and the Christmas Peak trading period, with tens of thousands of prospective students looking to upgrade their laptop before beginning their studies in September.

No longer is going to college or university with a laptop a luxury, it’s a necessity with many establishments advising on spec and recommended models that will meet the needs of students whilst in academia. Many students will naturally be looking to the bank of Mum and Dad to fund this investment.

Therefore, your ranging needs to appeal not only to the user, but also their parents, which in some instances means you need to work harder to reassure them that they’re purchasing the right product.

The key to success is ranging a variety of price points, sizes and performance specs, appealing to families of all budgets. Focus your ranging on what consumer are looking to buy – for example ultra-slim convertibles and 2-in-1’s accounted for 21.9% of consumer device sales in Q1 2016, up 16.3% from Q1 2015.

With tablet sales in the UK falling by 8% to 1.8 million units in Q1 2016, convertible and 2-in-1 laptops are the budget friendly alternative to purchasing two different devices. Make this flexibility a key selling point for shoppers looking for the complete solution in one device.

As well as the specs of the laptop, it’s also about the package on offer. It’s not just about the device: it’s about the ability to print, within a budget, and the accessories such as cases, cables and bags that all students will need.

Many shoppers will not realise they’ll need to purchase extra accessories, so use this as an opportunity to increase your average basket value by attaching sales. Printers are an especially important peripheral, which all students will need to use frequently. However, printer sales in the Back to School period in 2015 fell 4%. Perhaps to avoid the same issue this year, and increase your print and peripheral sales, bundle them in with laptops and other accessories.

When attaching a printer to a laptop, speak to the customer about how much they expect to use the product. If they’re worried about ink costs, but are prepared to pay more up front, perhaps suggest a low-running cost printer such as the Epson EcoTank.

What’s important is understanding the needs of each individual customer, and making a suggestion suited to them.

Ensure that your staff in the coming months can speak confidently to customer about your products and can advise on the best options for them. Offering this complete solution, which meets the customer’s needs and at a budget that suits all, will help to increase sales during the Back to School period.

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