Back to School Means Back to Store
Did you know, U.S. consumers shop in-store for Back to School more than any other shopping occasion? Whether it’s so they can evaluate items in real life, spend time shopping with their child, or cash in on better sales and in-store rewards, 76% of U.S. parents prefer to shop in-store for Back to School, according to the 2016 eMarketer study, “Occasions/ Holidays for Which US Parent Internet Users Prefer to Shop In-Store.”
As a shopping season still dominated by physical store traffic, brands that are able to attract the right audiences into their brick and mortar locations have a huge advantage during the back to school season, which spans as early as June and can last past Labor Day.
And once brands get the right shoppers in-store, they’ll benefit from the increase in overall spend, which was up across all back to school categories from 2015 to 2016.
But, driving people in-store isn’t easy, let alone attracting the right audience best suited for your specific brand or category. That’s why we broke down the broad audience for back to school shoppers - parents - into distinct groups based on the actual places they visit.
Location Indicates Intent and Drives Visitation Trends
Location is the strongest indicator of intent and the best way to define who someone is, so we use the places someone goes, overlaid with demographic data, to identify the most accurate audience segments for the Back to School timeframe. Here's an example of how we identify one of those segments: "Fit Moms"
Each audience we defined revealed distinct shopper behaviors and affinities, which allows brands to better align their targeting strategies and messaging to their ideal BTS audiences.
Here’s what we found based on xAd’s first-party visitation data of key Back to School audiences and at which types of store categories they over index.
Reaching the Right Audience through Location Presents a Huge Opportunity for Marketers
As marketers, you can use specific audience segments, like the ones listed above, to inform your back to school strategy in 2017.
Here are some Back to School strategy examples to activate using location and audience trends:
- Brands often forget about Dads as a target audience for Back to School, even though they over index above Moms at office supply and coffee shops. With this in mind, Office Retailers could run a Back to School campaign aimed at encouraging Dads to spend quality time with their kids when shopping for school supplies and devices.
- “Big City Moms” and “Working Moms” over index above overall Moms at pharmacies. With this in mind, pharmacies could run campaigns to these two groups with messaging about the “busy parent” and promote their pharmacy as a one-stop-shop to get back to school supplies.
Race to the School Bell
As you prepare for the fast-approaching back to school season, be sure you understand your target audience on a granular level and how to reach them in the moments that matter.
Get a jump start on this year’s back to school season. Learn which brands are winning and how you can take a regional approach to your Back to School marketing plans. Download the 2017 Back to School Strategy Guide today!