Go Mobile for Back-to-School Shopping

John Krautzel
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For many retailers, there was a time when back-to-school season meant overcrowded stores, extra-long lines and mandatory overtime for already-overworked staff. Thanks to advancements in shopping technology, that's no longer the case. Parents don't hesitate to go mobile when it's time to get their kids ready for the upcoming school year, and retailers that don't have a mobile shopping platform are missing out. Here why it's essential for these retailers to get on board.

Who's Going Mobile?

According to a 2017 survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, 43 percent of shoppers plan to go mobile during the 2017 school year. There are other studies, like the Rubicon Project, that predict an even larger percentage. This California-based online advertising company predicts that 60 percent of parents will turn to their smartphones to shop for back-to-school items.

Shoppers who go mobile generally use their smartphones to compare prices, search for discounts, read product reviews and make purchases. Millennial parents are most likely to use their smartphones to shop for back-to-school items online. Generation Z students who are finishing high school or heading off to college are also likely to use their smartphones to get the supplies they need. Retailers must go mobile to reach these demographics of shoppers.

Advantages for Retailers

Retailers that sell back-to-school items can list their products on powerhouse platforms such as Amazon, eBay or Wal-Mart. These websites attract millions of visitors per day, and smaller retailers can use them to greatly expand their customer base and increase their bottom line. The websites already have mobile-friendly platforms in place, making it easier for retailers without too much experience to go mobile, and also allow you to offer discounts to customers at your discretion. Use that to your advantage when preparing for the upcoming school season.

You can also hire a team of programmers to help you create your very own mobile retail platform. This option gives you the freedom to create a mobile site that caters to your specific customer base, and you get full control over the platform. You don't have to worry about paying monthly fees or percentages of your sales to other retailers.

Another major benefit of going mobile for back-to-school season is that doing so can increase holiday sales. If you offer spectacular back-to-school deals, shoppers are likely to try your products. Provide customers with a simple, hassle-free shopping experience on your mobile platform, and they'll likely be back when it's time to shop for the holidays.

Millennial and Generation Z shoppers expect their favorite retailers to have a mobile shopping platform, so do your best to avoid disappointing them. Competition is fierce in the retail world; if you don't go mobile and provide a better shopping experience for parents and students in these groups, you might lose them to competitors.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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