A Retailer’s Guide to This Year’s BTS Shoppers … and How to Attract Them to Your Site
With school season just beginning, back-to-school (BTS) shoppers are making sure everything on their list has been taken care of. The second biggest shopping season after the winter holidays, this is a crucial time for retailers to attract and engage BTS shoppers in a space where competition is rampant. The value of knowing and understanding the BTS customer, as well as what they're looking for, will be a decisive factor in your success.
For example, are people visiting your site to buy a certain backpack but leaving because you don’t have the color they want? Are they filling their carts and then abandoning them before any purchases are made?
As revealed in our recent study, retailers now have the answers to these types of questions, and in turn can better understand their customers’ digital experiences, behavioral patterns and current trends taking place in the BTS shopping arena.
By analyzing data from over 1 million customers, 40 million website visits, and 460 million page views across mobile and desktop devices, the study discovered the following insights that retailers should keep in mind in order to best capitalize on this year’s busy BTS season.
Mobile Traffic Beats Desktop
When it comes to shopping for BTS, mobile traffic beats desktop. People are now looking for school supplies on mobile devices (67 percent) more than they are on desktop (33 percent), a huge indicator that retailers must be mobile-first if they wish to have a successful BTS shopping season.
In our digital world, consumers want to be able to shop whenever and wherever, so being held back due to long and complicated checkout processes is no longer an option. In addition to a great digital experience on mobile, retailers should also weigh the benefits of encouraging customers to become members for an even more seamless customer journey.
Early Bird Shoppers
There are more early shoppers than late buyers — and they're buying more items. Early birds — i.e., customers that made BTS purchases between June and mid-July, outnumber late shoppers by 56 percent, and have a 16 percent higher conversion rate than their counterparts. This means that consumers are looking for deals early — and won't spend much time looking for them. Early shoppers spend 41 percent less time on each page than later shoppers, and if your site doesn’t have what they’re looking for, they will go elsewhere (and have the time to do so).
Late Buyers Value Quality Over Quantity
Late buyers, which the study categorizes as people who make BTS purchases between mid-July and the end of August, value the quality of products over quantity, and want things that make them stand out. In addition, these shoppers have a 35 percent higher average order value, bounce 20 percent less than early buyers, and hesitate 6 percent less before making a purchase. This is important as it indicates that these shoppers want unique items that will differentiate them from others, and aren’t afraid to spend some extra money to get it.
Hottest BTS Items
A final notable finding in the report is that backpacks and shoes are the hottest items for this year’s BTS season. In fact, backpacks and shoes generate an average cart that's 37 percent more valuable than books. These two product categories also take 58 percent longer to buy and have 75 percent more page views than other supplies, which means more time spent on your site browsing. For retailers, this indicates the importance of advertising these types of products over others when trying to attract BTS shoppers.
All in all, to see the most success during BTS season, retailers need to understand their shoppers. With insight into customers’ online journeys, retailers can make their website stand out amongst the competition and make it the ideal place to shop for all of the BTS needs — backpacks, shoes and books alike!
Jonathan Cherki is the founder and CEO of ContentSquare, a user experience (UX) analytics and optimization platform.
Jonathan Cherki is the CEO and founder of ContentSquare, an experience optimization platform for online and mobile businesses that uniquely captures visitor behavior insights to measure user experience, increase engagement and improve conversion rates. ContentSquare empowers brands to measure content performance, understand visitor intentions and explain consumer decisions when they do or do not purchase.