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BizReport : Ecommerce : August 27, 2014


Parents give retailers advice on making back-to-school shopping more bearable

It is the last full week before the majority of schools in Britain start back, and new research from Savvy Marketing reveals just how many parents have left it until this late stage to do their back-to-school shopping and what they think retailers can do to make this stressful experience more bearable.

by Helen Leggatt

According to Savvy Marketing's Insight Director, Alastair Lockhart, shopping for children's back-to-school needs can be a "very stressful experience and an arduous task for parents - and children".

So, how many have put off this daunting shopping experience until the last moment? Twenty percent, according to Savvy Marketing's "Back to School" survey, will do their back-to-school shopping this week.

The vast majority, 59%, have girded their loins and tackled back-to-school shopping before 14th August, with just 8% undertaking the task during 14th - 17th August.

"Clearly the vast majority of shoppers are getting these purchases out of the way at the beginning of the summer period - possibly before venturing off on holiday," said Lockhart. "However, many of today's shoppers are canny and they're happy to leave it to the last minute - bagging bargains in the sales this week."

It's not the stationary list, or what to put in lunchboxes, that proves the most challenging in the run up to children going back to school. Instead, the biggest challenges among those surveyed was shopping for school shoes (55%), buying school clothes (49%), getting back into a routine after the long summer holidays (49%) and buying P.E. kits (46%).

Savvy Marketing's survey also asked parents what retailers could do to make their lives easier, and the answers are revealing. The most popular response was that retailers should group together school products in-store (45%) closely followed by a 'collector scheme' operating over the summer holiday to enable savings on school products (44%). Other ideas included free back-to-school guides (25%), a more 'fun' in-store experience (22%) and in-store help and advice from supermarkets (13%).

"It will be interesting to see how back to school develops next year, when we expect to see a stronger emphasis on digital media, like smartphones, which have great potential to provide targeted inspiration, help shoppers find what they're looking for and seek out the best possible value," said Lockhart.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: back to school, retail, supermarket, U.K.










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