Back-to-school shopping 2019: how retailers can meet parents’ needs

in many European countries, it represents the third-largest seasonal shopping event following Christmas and Black Friday. 

This year, the clothing and accessories category is expected to maintain the highest share of spending, driven by new trends among school-age students who want more fashionable accessories and branded stationery. 

Brick-and-mortar stores have an important role to play in back-to-school shopping as more than 40% of parents want to check the stock themselves and prefer to shop for all school items in one place. Moreover, most parents prefer to have their children try on clothes and shoes rather than buying them online with the risk of having to return them. 

Supermarkets are still the preferred channel for purchasing BTS items, directly followed by department stores and specialized school retailers (source: “Internet retailing”), but how do busy parents select the right retailer for their BTS shopping?

According to a recent study conducted by Deloitte, price is the most important consideration when choosing a retailer for back-to-school shopping, followed by product, convenience and brand experience. 

Along with stock availability and consistency in apparel sizing, parents want convenience and knowledgeable shop staff during their BTS shopping. In fact, 68% of parents state they would be strongly encouraged by discounts and promotions.
Efficiency and good facilities are among the other important aspects in choosing the ideal retailer. Nearly half of parents are frustrated by long queues, and around 65% would like a dedicated click-and-collect till. Another 32% would like to check out their purchase themselves using touchscreen displays.

When it comes to timing, around 40% of parents stock up in the two or three weeks before school starts while only 8% do it during the last week.

How can physical stores be ready to meet and exceed the expectations of consumers during such an important shopping event?

Using an on-demand mobile Crowd that can report on the visibility and availability of the entire range of school supplies in real time can uncover and fix issues before they impact sales.
Roamler relies on more than 600.000 smartphone-enabled mystery shoppers who are ready to take action on demand anywhere and at any time, including weekends. 

Are you interested in knowing more about how crowd-supported timely insights and merchandising activities can help your business win this back-to-school season? Get in touch with our experts.