Survey Finds Retailers Investing More In Back-To-School

Retailers are getting an earlier start on the back-to-school selling season this year and plan to invest more in marketing efforts to consumers, a recent report from RetailMeNot revealed.

The 2017 “Retailer and Consumer Back-to-School Insights Guide” conducted by Kelton Global for RetailMeNot, found that 40% of retailers started their back-to-school promotions this year as early as May. In addition, 85% of retailers plan to invest more in their back-to-school marketing efforts this year when compared to 2016, with much of that increase in spending focused on mobile and social media.

“Discounts and deals are incredibly important this time of year to both retailers and shoppers,” said Marissa Tarleton, chief marketing officer with RetailMeNot. “Parents want to maximize their spending power and are increasingly turning to mobile as part of their shopping journey. For retail marketers, the opportunity to capitalize on omnichannel offers is more important than ever to reach consumers online, on mobile and in store. Consumers are seeking discounts, and it’s imperative that retailers and brands meet them where they are with compelling content.”

From the consumer standpoint, 82% of parents said they are looking for deals with back-to-school, with slightly more than one-third of shoppers noting that they look for savings more during back-to-school than any other time of the year. In addition, 70% of RetailMeNot users are anticipated to look for deals on their mobile device, the survey said.

More than half of shoppers at 54% surveyed said they do the majority of their back-to-school shopping in a physical retail location, with 28% saying they always search for items online before going in store.

“As we get closer to the start of school, shoppers will move from consideration to purchasing, and the retailers who have seamless experiences will benefit the most,” said Tarleton.

RetailMeNot data also shows consumers are likely to do the bulk of their spending in August, with the top two busiest shopping days expected to be August 5 and Labor Day, September 4.