Shopping for Back to School (BTS) and Back To College (BTC) Season – the second largest retail event of the year worth $83.6 billion in the US – traditionally falls in August and September.
July would normally see families and students enjoy their summer holidays. Over this month, retailers would also be putting finishing touches to their BTS and BTC campaigns.
But, Prime Day has disrupted all of this. Launched in 2015, Prime Day has brought a lot of success to Amazon in a typically quiet month for the year. In 2017, sales grew to $1 billion in just a 30-hour period, up 60% YoY.
The day has effectively brought forward spending on school supplies, accessories and electronics, by almost a month. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), about 3 in 10 consumers have planned to start shopping at least two months before school began — an increase of 22% compared to the previous year.
Amazon has also recently announced (or accidentally leaked!) its date for this year. 2018 will see the longest Prime Day, starting on July 16th and lasting for 36 hours.
What can retailers and brands still do for Back to School season campaigns?
There is still time to tweak digital campaigns, particularly if retailers and brands think granular and audience-based with their approach. Our top tips include:
1. Track fast moving search terms by audience, such as families with elementary school children, to identify trending products (check out our blog on top products by audience in BTS 2017 here). Track where these searches are going to inform your search marketing strategy.
2. The largest recipient of “back to school” searches in the past four weeks (up to 30-June) is still Youtube and Pinterest. This suggests that consumers are still researching and looking for ideas on how to organize, purchase and impress for the new school year. Retailers and brands can then ramp up relevant content, onsite and on social channels, to draw these consumers.
3. Keep close watch of Amazon. The e-tailing giant had launched its BTS and BTC storefronts on June 27th, and Prime Day is fast approaching. Track which brands and products are being searched for and purchased on Amazon, which no doubt has an impact whether you are a manufacturer brand or competitor retailer.
For more information on how Hitwise data can support your Back to School campaign, contact us above, or stay tuned for our coverage and deep dive on Prime Day next week.