Why Back-to-School is Important for All Retail Marketers
It may seem that the back-to-school season is only relevant to parents, teachers, and retailers that specialize in classroom essentials, but that’s not necessarily true. When back-to-school shopping is anticipated to generate $80.7 billion in sales, it would be wise for all retail marketers to adjust their e-commerce strategy for the fall. Here are a few smart ways to get your customers excited, without a single need to mention pumpkin-spiced lattes in your copy.
The Great Indoors
Just thinking about how people spend their time online in the summer compared to the fall, you can probably predict a few ways buyer behavior will change when consumers begin to trade lemonade for apple cider.
For example, maybe people were posting photos of their beach vacations on Instagram in the summer, but now they’re catching up on all the wedding photos they’ve been tagged in on Facebook. Or instead of shopping on their phone by the pool, now they’re browsing from their laptops at work and spending more time consuming online content.
Taking notice of these trends will inform what marketing channels you want to invest in as the seasons change. Of course, your own data will get you further than guesswork, so pay attention to shifting buyer behaviors to best understand where you should spend your money for the highest impact.
Start Preparing for the Holidays
You don’t have to bid summer goodbye just yet, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the holidays. This is especially true in retail, when those last few months give you the opportunity to generate more sales than you do the rest of the year.
What does that mean exactly? Tis’ the season to start thinking about your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing strategy. Get ahead of the data now and start building out segments so you’re not scrambling to create campaigns once winter approaches.
Additionally, if you’ve been underutilizing your customer service team, now is the time to think about how you can really leverage them once the holidays roll around by giving them the data they need to drive revenue and embrace service-led retail.
Customer experience will be a major differentiator when it comes to retaining new buyers that come in during the holiday season, and you want to equip all your teams — not just marketing — with access to customer preferences in order to encourage future purchases.
Join the Bandwagon
While you might not be selling backpacks and books, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the start of semester sales.
Consider piggybacking promotions on other September sales to take advantage of the spike in traffic, similar to how retailers capitalized on Amazon Prime Day this year. Look at which products performed well last year to inform what you’ll promote this time around.
Alternatively, if you’re trying to clear out your summer inventory, consider a different method than batching and blasting to your entire database. For example, activewear brand Strut This determines which customers viewed a particular product, then uses that data to create flash-sale campaigns pushed out to that highly targeted segment. This helps Strut This move product at the end of the season, while delivering personalized messages about items customers showed interest in. The result is a win-win for both the brand and the customer.
Turning Over a New Leaf
Just as seasonal buying likely affected your summer marketing strategy, customer behavior changes again in the fall. Regardless of your industry, it’s an important time of year for any retail marketer to pay attention to customer behavior. Even if they aren’t searching your site for school supplies, there are other ways to remain relevant when you leverage the right customer data.
Alex McPeak is a content marketing specialist at Zaius, the B-to-C CRM that connects customer data and orchestrates your campaigns.
Alex McPeak is a Content Marketing Specialist at Zaius, the B2C CRM that connects customer data and orchestrates your campaigns. In her role, she strives to assist marketers at every touchpoint in the customer journey and stay atop of the trends of retail and e-commerce.