The back-to-school shopping rush is hectic for retailers, ranking just behind the holiday season on the marketing calendar. But now that kids in grades K-12 have returned to class and college students are heading back to campus, it’s time to start planning your back-to-school 2024 marketing campaign. Too soon? Not if you want to make the most of a huge opportunity.
Because omnichannel consumer experiences drive back-to-school shopping, brands must champion consistency across all retailers carrying their products. The effort pays off, however, increasing the likelihood that consumers will trust your brand. Focus on an omnichannel strategy that delivers a consistent customer experience, anticipates customer needs and addresses concerns.
Economic signals are a bit of a mixed bag heading into the important back-to-school and back-to-college shopping season, an economist with the National Retail Federation said, with inflation easing but spending on services and essential items still impacting spending on goods. In spite of this unsettled macro picture, the NRF projects record spending on K-12 and college.
More than a third of U.S. consumers said they plan to cut back on other spending in order to be able to shop for back-to-school items due to ongoing inflation concerns, according to the annual survey from Prosper Insights & Analytics commissioned by the National Retail Federation. More than half had started shopping as of early July.
While record spending is anticipated for back-to-school season this year, consumers may experience shortages in certain areas due to high demand, reduced inventories and ongoing pandemic-related supply chain and distribution issues, as well as fewer discounts.
The uncertainty around schools reopening has made this back-to-school season unlike any before it for retailers, with school supplies lists often unknown as districts work out details, and the normal cadence of discount events and promotions disrupted as well, experts say. Apparel has been hit hardest while tech items are winners.
Total back-to-school spending is expected to reach $80.7 billion, down from $82.7 billion last year, according to The National Retail Federation’s annual survey. Here is what retailers can expect from shoppers this school season.
Children might be at the beaches and just beginning summer camp, but back-to-school pundits are busy, with Deloitte predicting total spend of $27.8 billion, up slightly from $27.6 billion last year, for an average of $519 per U.S. household.
In many parts of the country, school starts earlier and earlier—sometimes as early as the first week of August. Plus, the nature of what is categorized as a back-to-school good has evolved—and is continually expanding. Here is what marketers need to know about back-to-school shoppers.
Back-to-school shopping season is in full swing, but thanks in part to Amazon Prime Day being pushed up nearly a month this year, millions of consumers have a head start as they prepare for a brand new academic year. Here are the top three considerations retailers should keep in mind to ensure satisfaction among all customers this back-to-school shopping season, from millennials to Gen X to in-store and mobile shoppers.