Back to School Marketing Trends for 2018

While many parents started their back-to-school shopping as early as July, marketing for this time of year is still in full swing. Last year, spending for back-to-school hit $83.6 billion, and in 2018, 56% of parents plan to spend more per child than in previous years.

Those dollars lead to competition among brands, with 75% of marketers saying they’ll change up their strategies in 2018. For 90% of brands, that means discounts and coupons. For others, increased mobile marketing will be the lion’s share of their strategy.

What can you do to capture the attention of parents dancing in the aisles as their kids go back to school? Here are some trends you can cash in on.

Consider Your Buyers’ Locations

While parents are expected to spend more this year, that doesn’t mean they’re not hoping to get some bargains along the way. Parents in various parts of the country may be even more likely to sniff out great deals than others.

Studies show that moms in the Midwest are more likely to stay under budget during this shopping season, while moms in the Northeast admit they often spend well over budget. If you’re hoping to capture some attention in those areas where moms tend to stay under budget, then savings opportunities could be your best bet.

Also consider how much parents are planning to spend in each location. The national average is $179 per child, including supplies and clothing, for an average of $510 per household.

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Email Isn’t Old School

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Moms looking for good deals often go to Facebook and their friends and family for information, but there’s one place you can be sure your brand reaches them: their email inbox. In their quest for big discounts, 46% of moms say they find their best deals in emails they receive from retailers and brands.

Even if you haven’t used email marketing to great success, the back-to-school rush is the best time to start. Studies show that 80% of shoppers would make a first-time purchase from a brand if they were given a great offer or discount.

Prepare for All Shoppers and All Devices

While in-store shopping still gets 57% of the total spend during the back-to-school season, online sales aren’t far behind. This year, approximately $6.3 billion will be spent online for school supplies, clothing, and technology. A powerful e-commerce platform for your brand or retail store is a must if you plan to compete aggressively for some of that spending.

Overall, your best bet is to provide an omnichannel experience for moms and other back-to-school consumers who hope to get the best deals regardless of when and how they shop. How will you reach the 55% of early shoppers who use their smartphones to find the best deals, even as they’re in your store? What about the 50% of later shoppers? With push notifications, emailed coupons, and abandoned cart reminders, you can take advantage of every opportunity to reach your buyers.

How are you changing your marketing tactics to maximize sales this school season?

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