How One of the Biggest Shopping Seasons of the Year is Being Affected By Mobile Commerce


Fall is fast approaching and with that comes the mad dash for parents to load up their kids’ backpacks with the essentials before the start of another school year. This is great news for brands and retailers, for whom Back-to-School (BTS) season is the second-largest seasonal shopping period of the year in terms of consumer spending.

But wait, it gets better! BTS shoppers are expected to spend a grand total of $540 billion, $17 billion more than in 2015. While sales are only projected to grow by 3.3%, online sales will boom at an estimated 11% and make up 18% of all BTS category sales, according to Customer Growth Partners’ 14th Annual BTS Forecast. Why? Parents are now turning to their mobiles to prepare their families for the new school year.

Out of 1000 parents surveyed by the advertising firm, Rubicon Project, 60% of parents said they were planning to use their mobile devices for BTS shopping this year with 30% planning to do at least a quarter of their total shopping via mobile devices. As we’ve already mentioned mobile shopping has drastically changed the retail landscape, so it’s no surprise to see parents turning to m-commerce in order to make a smoother transition to the new school year. Not only is mobile shopping making it easier for them to find the items they need but in fact, the bulk of BTS shopping is now being allotted to tech-related items (i.e. tablets for school), driving more and more parents online to buy said items.

While the amount parents plan to spend has risen in the last year, the hunt for great value hasn’t abated. In fact, according to a report commissioned by Retale, 89% of parents shop for BTS based on mobile promotions. “Back-to-School shoppers in 2016 will be cautious in spending, but relentless in searching for value,” says Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, “the retail winners will be those that provide real newness, relevant to consumers and how they like to shop today — at a great price.” Truthfully, parents just aren’t finding the deals they’re after at physical stores, hence the increase in online and mobile shopping (particularly on Amazon).

So what does this mean for you? Some things you can do to stand out and make yourself more appealing to consumers looking for the best products (for the best prices) for the season are:

  • Engage BTS shoppers in the digital world while offering them the deals they want (and have come to expect this time of year).
  • While BTS campaigns are typically geared towards the parents, getting to know the end-userthe students – and incorporating your findings into your marketing strategy is a surefire way to give you a leg up on the competition.
  • Get savvy about reaching out to consumers. Don’t take for granted that they will come to you, seek them out and cast as wide of a net as possible.

Once you understand how Back-to-School consumers shop and what they’re looking for, you can start working towards getting those sales – if you have an online presence, that is!

Click below for a list of some of Hubba’s best brands for Back-to-School supplies!