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BizReport : Advertising archives : May 30, 2016

Trends to watch for back-to-school

While many children are still in school, it's never too early to prep for next year. That's where new data from HookLogic comes in. Researchers from HookLogic have examined more than $100 million in sales from June through September of 2015 that shows what parents are looking for - and perhaps how merchants can profit.

by Kristina Knight

With June nearly here and summer vacations around the corner, no parent wants to think about the stress of back to school shopping, but for merchants, now is the time to shore up those BTS campaigns. Data from HookLogic sheds light on some trends for merchants to watch.

First, don't think just about August and September sales. Researchers with HookLogic found that back to school traffic can start as early as June, with product page views showing sharp increases in July and running higher through September. Their data also shows that in 2015 conversion rates were stronger earlier in the shopping season, tapering off once September rolled around on the calendar.

"Several explanations are likely for the early Conversion Rate strength, including early discounts by retailers looking to lock sales in and eager consumers. Building Traffic is clearly attributable to greater online searching by consumers as Back To School product needs are identified - a trend that continues into the early school year as students fill in any product gaps (or new needs, when kids discover what everyone else has). Conversion Rate tapering is also indicative of school shopping checklists being completed," write the report authors.

Other interesting findings include:
• Conversion rates remained constant for electronics purchases through the BTS season
• School supply conversions increase in June and July
• Overall daily sales increased 119% (July) and 192% (August)
How can merchants make the most of the back to school season? They offer these three tips:
• Time your Back To School investments appropriately. Peaks drive big sales, but valleys can offer competitive advantages.
• Pick your heavily promoted categories strategically. Small categories may grow more than you'd think.
• Extend your ad spend through September. There's considerable shopping going on after school starts.

Tags: advertising, back to school advertising, back to school shopping trends, ecommerce, HookLogic

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