What To Know About This Year’s Back to School Season

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One of the largest spending seasons is vastly approaching and parents and students have an endless amount of options when it comes to where they want to spend their money this back to school season. Many businesses are vying for the share of consumers’ wallets through special in-store promotions and recently launched apps. Here are five things your business should know about the 2016 back to school shopping season.

Spending is reaching an all-time high.

The National Retail Federation predicted that total spending on back to school from kindergarten to college will reach $78.5 billion, in comparison to last year’s $68 billion. A low unemployment rate and rising wages are responsible for a more confident consumer this year. The NRF also notes that back to school spending is currently in a “stock up” cycle, opposed to a “make do” cycle. This means that families are more willing to spend more during this season in order to stock up on extra supplies for the school year.

Price (and off price) determines purchase.

55% of Americans surveyed by web platform Ebates said that price was the most influential factor in their back to school purchases, compared with 20% of those surveyed that said product quality as the most important aspect. Additionally, off price channels are dominating in the retail sector, with stores like Marshalls and TJMaxx being the most popular destination for back to school shopping.

Online shopping will come down to shipping.

It’s n secret consumers are heading to online stores to get their shopping fix. The NRF found that the interest in online shopping has seen a 30% increase in the past year. However, new research also suggests that shipping options is a major determinant in the e-commerce sales channel. According to NRF, 80% of back to college shoppers is planning on utilizing free shipping options this year. A Bizrate study also discovered that 55% of consumers use in-store pickup options online in order to avoid shipping charges.

Gen Z does not prefer labels.

Today’s younger consumer is less interested in logos or labels than previous generations. The desire to stand out from the crowd instead of fitting in is inspiring younger consumers to opt for lesser known or generic brands that do not boast large logos.

Keep these things in mind when planning your back to school marketing campaign, and your business will reap the benefits of a successful and profitable season.

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