The school year is right around the corner, which means that back-to-school shopping is already in full swing. Aside from the holidays, back-to-school is the second-largest selling season, so if retailers are not participating, they’re missing out.
To be successful this school year, you need to know what trends are affecting how consumers are finding and buying their back-to-school items. When it comes to back-to-school 2015 trends, mobile stands out from the rest.
Across retail, the number of mobile shoppers is continually increasing. 80% of mobile users’ purchasing decisions are influenced by the mobile channel, even though they may not use their device to complete the final purchase. Back-to-school shopping is no exception.
Major retailers like Macy’s, Target, and Wal-Mart plan their back-to-school campaigns far in advance for early back-to-school shoppers. While you may not have the resources to do the same, you can still use mobile to carve out a bigger piece of the back-to-school pie.
Looking for Information Online
Shoppers are using their mobile devices to perform their research and look for information.
- 59% of U.S. smartphone owners have used their devices to research an item before purchasing it.
- 78% of mobile searches for local business information results in a purchase.
It’s important that your site is optimized for mobile and makes it easy for shoppers to browse and learn more about your products and store.
When Are Shoppers Looking for Information
It’s not only important to know that shoppers are looking for information online, but when they are.
According to Google Trends, in 2014, the end of July and beginning of August were the most popular time for the searches “back to school supplies” and “school supplies.”
It’s now right around that time and you can bet that most shoppers are beginning their back-to-school item research and purchases.
Back-to-school shopping usually entails looking for the best prices for all the common items consumers need. Mobile provides an easy, fast channel for consumers to do just that.
- 19% of consumers leave a store and look for lower prices online.
- 96% of parents with school-aged children use their smartphones to compare prices.
Consumers are using their mobile devices to compare prices both online and offline. It’s important to make your prices accessible and easy to find for shoppers.
Mobile Assists In-Store Shopping
While shoppers may research online first, many still make final purchase within physical stores. But, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still influenced by the mobile channel while in-store.
- 84% of U.S. smartphone shoppers use their phone to assist them in their shopping while in physical stores.
Shoppers use their smartphones for many things like comparing prices across brand, checking online prices, and looking for coupons and sales. With almost 50% of online back-to-school shoppers say that coupons, sales and/or promotions have influenced up to three-quarters of their purchases. Mobile is an important aspect to the in-store shopping experience.
If you want to see more statistics, check out the infographic below.
Jillian Knox is the Marketing Analyst for nChannel where she performs competitor market research, provides analysis of key sales metrics, and writes informative posts on multichannel commerce trends. She holds a BA in Marketing from Otterbein University.