3 Tips to Help Brands Make the Most Out of Back-to-School Shopping

Back-to-school shopping is in full swing, and consumer spending has reached a fever pitch! The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will spend $86.3 billion this back-to-school season, up 10% from last year’s record-setting $76 billion. Because Ovia Insights partners with so many brands that offer exceptional back-to-school products, we wanted to dig deeper into shopping trends for this season. In this post we’ll share some of our findings, as well as 3 tips to help brands refine their sales strategies for back-to-school and beyond.

Who’s Doing the Shopping, and When?

In early August we polled our Ovia app users, using our in-app community feature: Ovia Asks. As we suspected, moms are the primary purchasers for back-to-school items in most millennial households (78% to be exact!). We also learned that the selling season is a bit longer than we had thought, with the majority of millennial moms (90%) indicating that the back-to-school season lasts well into September . Even more interesting, most of the moms we polled (73%) confirmed that they continue making school purchases throughout the year.

With this data in mind, here are 3 tips to ensure that your brand capitalizes on women’s growing spending power–not just during the back-to-school shopping season, but all year round!

1. Mobile is key

Brands should be using mobile advertising to reach moms, who report using smartphones more than any other internet capable device. 81% of moms specify that they use their phones while shopping — many take this opportunity to search for and download mobile coupons. Mobile video is especially popular among millennial moms. 96% of millennial moms watch video content on their phones regularly and over 25% watch more than an hour per day.

2. Focus on native advertising

Native ads are effective because they enhance the user experience, with consumers perceiving them as more authentic than traditional advertising. 40% of millennial moms said that they search for a brand online after seeing a native ad. Native ads also enhance user experience — millennial moms report headlines and autoplay as the most influential factors for engaging with a native video. Want to learn more? Check out our research and strategies on how to realize native advertising’s full potential.

3. Celebrate diversity

As we learned through our own Ovia Insights survey of 3,500 millennial moms, The Millennial Mom Digest: How to Move Beyond One-Size-Fits-All Advertising, moms today pride themselves on their diverse attributes and they want brands to recognize and celebrate them. So, stop thinking about moms as one homogeneous group. Don’t try to cater to the “typical” mom who represents only 30% of millennial women, and embrace the uniqueness of moms like “Natural Living Natalie” and “Self-Starter Susan.” When brands take into account the diversity of millennial moms’ behaviors and desires, they will be able to connect authentically with so many more of them.

Wondering if there’s still time to employ these strategies for back-to-school this year? The answer is yes! Contact the Ovia Insights team to talk about how to boost your sales during this big shopping season – and beyond.