Back to school shopping trends

The Back to School sales season is upon us and retailers are looking to digital to drive sales. This Q3 driver is forecast to be a 16% year over year growth in online sales reaching $27 billion and combined with back to college the National Retailer Federation estimates spending to top $72 billion. In most states, school starts in late August, meaning messaging starts in late July and search peaks the first week of August as the rush for supplies, clothes and–for college students–furniture begins to heat up.

For search, the top terms are “back to school,” “school supplies,” “school shopping,” and “back to school sales” giving paid search campaigns the opportunity to bid on these specific queries. Raising bids on keywords helps keep retailers competitive as online shoppers compare prices and look for deals.

The top products for back to school include tablets and shoes as well as furniture for those college bound students. A Pricegrabber study shows 69% of shoppers prefer online for their back to school sales and 72% of online shoppers expect free shipping.

The weeks leading up to Q3’s “Black Friday” is Labor Day when the shopping rush ends. The average K-12 parent spends $500 during the season will the college student shopper spends an average of $1,000 or more. Capturing these shoppers can help make or break retailers dull summer season.

If you are offering back to school products, make sure you’re taking advantage of digital campaigns, in addition to search, to drive sales. Offers such as free shipping, online coupons and rebates can drive conversions over your competitors.

If your business is looking to drive sales with a successful media strategy for the holiday shopping season, contact us and we’ll put together a comprehensive strategy to make your year!