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BizReport : Advertising archives : July 29, 2010

Survey: July, September big influencers for back to school spend

School may start, at least for most American students, in August, but a new report from PointRoll and ShopLocal finds that July and also September are big influencers on back to school shopping. Many retailers focus on August for the back to school rush, but according to this study they should focus on the entire three month window.

by Kristina Knight

pointroll.jpg"Contrary to popular belief, August isn't the only optimal month to advertise products related to the back to school retail shopping wave," said Max Mead, Vice President of Business Development and Analytics with PointRoll. "Based on our study of consumer activity, we found that shoppers start thinking about school supplies and apparel much earlier and stay engaged with ads later than what is generally understood to be the crunch month of August...the ideal time to influence [shoppers] is from July through September."

Researchers found:

• Retailers and school supply brands reduced their ad spends by 75% before Labor Day (2009)
• Advertising interaction rates increased from July through September (2009)
• August had the lowest interaction rates (5.23%) with September interaction rates highest (6.6%)
• Computer ads were engaged with early in the summer months rather than post-Labor Day

Why the elongated shopping season for back to school? The pinch in the economy could be a factor as consumers look for the absolute best deals, or buy back to school items in smaller quantities each month. But, it is also likely that parents are waiting to make those final decisions until children are in school and have seen what their friends have. Especially for teens and tweens, having items similar to those of friends can be important. By waiting until school is in session kids are more likely to be happy with the purchases.

Tags: back to school shopping, ecommerce, ecommerce advertising, online advertising, PointRoll

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