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Back-to-School Series: eCommerce

Its hard to believe that the summer is almost over! The BTS (back-to-school) season begins in about a week as shoppers tend to prepare about three weeks to one month prior to the first day of school. To maximize conversions, retail marketing campaigns need to begin early to address schools all across the country, with some starting mid-August and others in September. Across the board, the BTS shopping season has begun earlier every year:

“It’s all based on retailers and their desire to try to get to the wallet early before the consumer runs out of money”. 

Bill Martin, ShopperTrak

In 2014, the BTS shopping season grew to an overall increase of $74 million, $35 million of which resulted from the eCommerce channel, according to Weekly Retail Tracking Service. A lot of early shopping occurs online, weeks before they actual purchase any items. In 2014, AOL surveyed consumers on online shopping and their reasons for conducting it online vs a brick-and-mortar store.  Consumers reported that the top 3 reasons they shop online for BTS supplies/apparel are they are able to shop quicker, find better prices and avoid the crowds. Results also found that online channels made BTS shopping easier – regardless of whether the actual purchase was made online or in the store. Reports also found that consumers used their smartphones to find coupons, research products, compare prices and read customer reviews.  From our last BTS series post, you can read more about how mobile is influencing the BTS shopping season.
Prestashop put together an infographic from 2014 BTS Shopping & eCommerce season highlighting trends and consumer behaviors. While brick-and-mortar stores still make up the highest amount of sales, online channels are quickly gaining traction. September will show us how much eCommerce sales have increased from 2014 to this year’s back-to-school season.
BTS eCommerce

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Heather Bowman

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