READ MORE ON BACK-TO-SCHOOL IN 2020
Many Back-to-School Purchases Will Be Made Online
It’s already difficult to bring your children to the grocery store, but factor in masks, social distancing and new retailer safety protocols, simple trips become infinitely more stressful. But with 84% of back-to-school shoppers involving the student in the purchase decision, it’s important to find alternatives to traditional in-store shopping experiences.
So, many shoppers are turning to an online-only solution for their back-to-school needs. Across multiple categories, the percentage increase of shoppers planning to purchase items online-only increased by 46.2% from March to May. Particular categories, like apparel, saw a 125% increase from March to May in shoppers indicating they planned to purchase those items online only.
It wasn’t just e-commerce-friendly items like clothing that were in shoppers digital baskets, 44% of back-to-school shoppers are planning to increase the frequency of purchasing their groceries online as well.
Discounts and Product Availability Matter to Consumers
Shoppers are facing higher prices at the grocery store with more constricted wallets — they are looking for brands and retailers that provide them with a good valu.e. and a good shopping experience. It’s no surprise that with 16.3 million people in the U.S. collecting unemployment benefits and the food-at-home consumer price index continuing to rise, 70% of back-to-school shoppers cite “available discounts” as an extremely significant factor in determining where they shop this season.
However, shoppers not only want the best deal, but they also want the best selection and experience. Because consumers are trying to make less frequent trips to stores, 73% of shoppers indicated a wide selection of products and items would be an extremely important factor in where they choose to shop for back-to-school items.
Brands and retailers can also help improve the shopping experience with loyalty programs and flexible return policies which 54% and 60%, respectively, of consumers, ranked as very significant factors in how they determine where to shop.
The new school year is a time for students to take on new responsibilities and for families to create new routines. Back-to-school shoppers will be looking for brands and retailers that adapt seamlessly to these new shopping habits and health and safety concerns. Continue to be agile in how you message to consumers in order to stay relevant and match how shoppers are feeling as fall approaches for optimal back-to-school success.
Sarah Hughes is product marketing manager at Inmar Intelligence.