If you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve likely seen a few photos of your friends’ kids looking adorable in their new outfits, donning brand new backpacks, ready to tackle their first day of school. Back-to-school season is in full swing.

Student texting in the classroom

Image By Lynda.com

Retailers Are Focusing On Mobile Shopping Trends

On the surface, not much has changed with the back-to-school shopping season. Retailers start promoting their deals in mid-July (to align with the state tax-free days), teachers start distributing their wish lists, and parents head to the store to spend a few hundred dollars. But that’s not the end of the story. Parents are doing far more than just wandering into the nearest store with their supply list in hand. They’re researching. And they’re researching on mobile.

Parents number one tool this back to school season is their phone, for both research & mobile shopping. According to a recent study by Retale, 78% of parents will use a smartphone – both in-store and out-of-store – for back-to-school shopping. The most popular activity among parents (63%) is using their device to compare prices, and 62% will use it to search for deals and coupons.


Image Stats By Retale

Location is Key

What’s more interesting is where these activities are happening. While many parents will do their homework before heading to the store, a large percentage do a substantial amount of research in-store as well, making well-timed promotions and trigger-based marketing even more important. The chart below outlines these location preferences.

Don’t Forget the Deals

Almost all parents surveyed (89%) said that a retailer’s availability of mobile coupons and deals determined where they shopped and 20% preferred to receive their deals via text message directly from the retailer.

Put Mobile First

While mobile hasn’t completely replaced the back-to-school shopping experienced, the consumer shopping behavior has shifted. If retailers want to compete in the back-to-school shopping bonanza, which is still considered the second biggest shopping event of the year, then they need to come armed with a multi-channel marketing solution, putting the mobile experience first.