It’s September! And once again, it’s time to go back to school/college. However, as many other things year, this too will be an unusual back to school season for many children, young adults and parents across the world. Since March this year, countries around the world have implemented varying levels of lock downs in an effort to control the pandemic. While some countries have lifted them completely, others have varying levels of lock downs. 

During the lock downs, most of the education institutions across the world were closed and moved to online teaching. However, now as the summer comes to an end, parents are preparing for either sending their children back to school or setting up permanent home schooling facilities for their children.

While this year is different than the previous years, Back to School (BTS) and Back to College (BTC) season is a big conversion opportunity for brands to get ahead in their sales.

In fact, last year BTS and BTC spending reached almost $80 billion in the U.S. alone. Families with kids in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will face expenses ranging from school supplies at $239.82 and electronics at $203.44. College students are not exempt for costs either, as BTC students plan to spend $148.54 on clothing and accessories and $234.69 on electronics. Though this year will be different, parents will be spending money on ensuring that their children are fully prepped for their upcoming academic year. It’s time to get busy preparing for the BTS and BTC rush. 

1: Think Local

Unlike before, this year’s back to school needs and requirements will vary from country to country. Keep the local restrictions in mind when displaying your products and offerings on retailer websites. While some countries will reopen schools and universities in person, some will offer a mix of online and offline teaching and some may completely stick to online teaching. As a result, parents and children will have varying requirements. 

Walmart on their campaigns is openly calling out the differences in needs, and that they are able to cater to all the needs.


Source: https://www.walmart.com/browse/back-to-school-savings/0/0/?_refineresult=true&_be_shelf_id=3290888&search_sort=100&facet=shelf_id:3290888

Thinking locally will better help you prepare for the consumer needs in that particular country. For example, there will be little value in offering back to school backpacks, and lunch boxes in countries where schools have not yet re-opened. Rather, they may require alternative products such as work from home table, and or a laptop/iPad stand to help prepare for the back to school season from home.

2: The Importance Of Data

Data is an integral part of any eCommerce strategy. Taking a look at quantitative and qualitative data allows you to properly understand the opportunities your brand has to increase conversion and ROI. 

By effectively analysing the data that you have on hand, you’ll be able to better allocate funding to the appropriate channels and be able to keep an eye on your competitors. Not only data from the previous years, but also data that you have collected over the past few months can help you allocate your budgets better.

For example, earlier this year, millions of workers around the world shifted to working from home. There was a surge in demand for work from home desks and chairs. There was an increase in consumer electronics needed to make working from home easier. Similarly, students that will either continue their education online or with a mix of online and offline will inevitably need some of these products to help them make the shift smoother.

When it comes to data, eTail Monitoring is your friend. ChannelSight can help you capture price and stock level fluctuations for your entire retail portfolio for each individual SKU. Through this, you’ll be able to monitor price points and their impact on conversion, while managing items available across all major retail partners. You need access to this data in order to allow your brand to better understand price, availability and performance.

3: Understand your consumers and their needs

Retailers and brands need cater to latest trends, but also understand the changing consumer needs.

Put yourself in the shoes of an anxious parent sending their child back to school. They not only need to think about all things needed as pre-covid19 but also other essentials such as hand sanitizers and masks. Reconsider the back to school bundles and value packs, and what they should consist of for back to school this year.  

There is a high change that you will need to also give parents updated bundles with children’s face masks, and hand sanitizers. 


Source:
https://boomernaturals.com/products/back-to-school-bundle 

Alternatively, in certain countries where schools are not re-opening, parents will be looking to create a study space in their homes. They may also require a desk, a chair and electronics that make it smoother for their children to study from home. As we mentioned earlier, your data is the best tool to guide you through this back to school season. 

Want to know how you can leverage your data? 

With ChannelSight not only can you track each and every consumer journey, but also give measurable insights such as key channels that are driving highest conversions, product and basket level data and more. Through these measurable insights, you can drive a data driven eCommerce strategy and more. interested to learn how? ChannelSight has a team of experts that can help drive a data driven strategy. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions.