How Mobility is Changing the Back to School Market

Catalog Spree appBack to school sales are already well underway as of last month, and in today’s world we know it’s not all about window displays and online banner ads anymore. Let’s talk about how back to school advertising is going mobile.

Today’s Back to School Shopping Habits

According to study results posted by Experian, just the past couple of years have seen huge changes in habits of online back to school shoppers, especially moms. From 2011 to 2012, shoppers seeking great deals did more searches including the word “cheap” than ever before. Timing matters too, of course. Experian’s study also revealed that searches for office supplies peak early on in the season, but the search for the latest in back to school clothing continues well through the fall as kids see what their classmates are wearing.

Marketing for Moms

When it comes to back to school sales, it’s important to market to kids, but it’s even more important for your content to be relevant to moms. A recent survey revealed that 59% of shoppers say that mom makes the final decisions for back to school shopping. According to Experian, last year 40 to 50% of mothers purchased back to school supplies from a tablet, including apparel, books, and electronics.

Optimizing for smartphones is just as important; the same study revealed that 26% of moms admitted to buying back to school clothes from their smartphones, and 30% intend to do so in the future. Even when in stores, mobility remains a factory: 71% of shoppers say that they use their smartphones to compare prices or download coupons. With the rise of mobile access, these numbers are only going to go up.

Going Mobile With Apps

Consider Catalog Spree, a catalog aggregator provider that launched a mobile app last week for better product browsing among back to school shoppers. The app allows access to catalogs from retailers like Target, Macy’s, Forever 21, and more. The app integrates social media as well, so consumers can browse and share products on Facebook and Pinterest or via email, and, of course, make purchases.

What’s the takeaway? Simple enough: your back to school sales content should be relevant to what users are searching for (think, for example, SEO for moms who are searching for “cheap” back to school products). With mobility on the rise, it should also ensure mobile optimization for better navigability with the use of smartphones and tablets for moms and other shoppers on the go.

Does your business offer back to school sales? What strategies will you use to target mobile-savvy shoppers year-round?

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Tree is a somewhat nomadic graduate student pursuing an MFA in Poetry and Literary Translation from Drew University. A self-identified “diplobrat,” she spent over 16 years living as an expat in countries like Guatemala, Bolivia, and Tanzania. Tree graduated from Smith College in 2012 with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature, a minor in Studio Art, and a concentration in Landscape Studies. In between writing poetry for school and content for CEM, she dabbles in goat herding and freelancing. Other interests include reading, watercolor painting, gardening, and traveling.

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