3 data-backed tips for back-to-school sales success

Summer is just getting started, but it’s already back-to-school season for parents.

As of mid June, nearly a quarter (24%) of US adults have already begun back-to-school shopping and another 45% will start sometime before the end of July, according to a March 2024 survey from LTK.

As retailers roll out their back-to-school campaigns, here are three tips to keep consumers engaged and spending.

1. TV reaches both parents and children

Parents spend 59% of their TV time co-viewing with children, according to LG Ad Solutions’ Commercials and Classrooms report.

  • 85% of parents have either shopped at a specific store or purchased a specific school supply product after seeing a TV ad, according to the report.
  • TV ads are most influential among parents of college students and least influential on parents of elementary school students.

This year’s Olympic Games, taking place from late July to mid August, present a unique opportunity to target back-to-school shoppers—84% of parents plan on watching the events with children, per LG’s report.

2. Ads must grab attention and demonstrate value

Ads focusing on value, product utility, and special effects are more likely to grab parents’ attention.

  • Almost all (93%) parents are interested in TV ads with deals and discounted pricing, according to LG’s report.
  • Nearly as many (89%) are interested in TV ads showing the product being used, while 86% of parents are interested in ads with special video or audio effects.
  • Parents are also interested in the ability to shop directly from ads—81% would scan a QR code on TV for school supplies.

3. An omnichannel strategy is a must

The majority (65.1%) of US back-to-school sales will take place in-store this year, per our forecast. However, we expect ecommerce sales to grow faster (7.4%) than physical retail (1.0%).

  • The top reasons parents shop in-store include immediate product availability (cited by 48% of parents), discounts/sales events (41%), and a better shopping experience 33%), according to LG’s report.
  • Online shoppers favor ecommerce because it provides a better shopping experience (cited by 43% of parents), better prices (37%), and a wider selection of products (36%).

The bottom line: Total US back-to-school sales will reach $81.16 billion this year, a mild 3.2% growth YoY, per our forecast. Retailers need to be in-tune with back-to-school shoppers, using price, product assortment, and engaging ads to stay ahead of competition.

 

This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.

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