Retailers Should be Ready to Support BTS Shoppers Across Channels by End of June

BY Courtney Huckabay

Verified online buyers surveyed by Bizrate Insights say back-​to-​school shopping might not heat up until July, but 5% of shoppers already started by April and another 7% plan to start before June. Over half of shoppers will kick off BTS shopping between late July and early August, with early August being the most popular time to begin.

Hayley Silver, VP of Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity, says “… retailers should be ready to support shoppers across channels by the end of June. Product availability, price and coupons are important, as are indicators of quality, such as ratings, reviews and guarantees."

Start your advertising engines now! AudienceSCAN revealed mobile smartphone app ads or text message ads are great ways to reach Back to School Shoppers. BTS Shoppers are 50% more likely than average shoppers to have taken action after receiving them in the past month.

"Approximately 62% of households plan to spend less this year than last year on back-​to-​school with the average household planning to spend about $606 this year," Jack Loechner wrote in a research brief. "For households with college-​age students, that number jumps to $1,086. When broken down by gender, male shoppers plan to spend more on BTS items, particularly those shopping for school-​age children. However, 49% of all shoppers agree that quality is more important than price."

"While many back-​to-​school shoppers prioritize finding the right products at the right price, brand loyalty is still a factor, as 30% of BTS shoppers say it affects their decision to buy. Ratings and reviews also matter to BTS shoppers: one-​fourth are influenced by store ratings."

Focus on brand loyalty in ads on social networks, because 35.3% of BTS Shoppers took action after seeing them in the past year, according to AudienceSCAN data.

Affects Decision To Purchase (% of respondents)

  • Brand loyalty   (30%)
  • Store ratings and reviews   (25%)

"When you break down the BTS shoppers, who say their children’s preferences influence their decisions, are increasingly influenced as the children get older, from 49% for parents of preschool children up to 65% for high school parents."

"This year in-​store use of mobile devices will play a big role in back-​to-​school shopping. In addition, women (42%) are far more likely to use their mobile devices to look for coupons than men (27%)."

Keep in mind that AudienceSCAN found 27.6% of BTS Shoppers use a mobile wallet for payment (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal); and 54% of them are using Android devices. So make sure marketing messages are mobile-​friendly for these shoppers.

The top ways BTS shoppers will use mobile for back-​to-​school shopping, online and in-​store are:

  • 69% to research products
  • 48% to buy products
  • 41% to price compare in-store
  • 37% to look for coupons in-store

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.