Why Back-To-School Requires An Omni-Channel Approach

August 17, 2017

Holly Pavlika

SVP, Marketing & Content at Collective Bias
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For many parents back-to-school time signals a flurry of activities from cleaning out backpacks, trying on clothes to see if they still fit, to making shopping lists.

As a Retail Me Not survey recently reported, 25 percent of parents shop all through the summer and 20 percent shop all year round looking for deals. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed said they do all their shopping in one weekend, choosing to get it done in one fell swoop. And a whopping 81 percent of retailers reported they will be offering more deals than last year in an effort to capture more share of wallet from mom and dad.

One disturbing stat from the Retail Me Not report was that 1 in 10 retailers don’t have an omni-channel approach in place for back-to-school shoppers. With young mothers more digital, more mobile and more connected through social, every retailer MUST take an omni-channel approach to reach today’s moms.

Here’s seven reasons why you need an omni-channel approach.

  1. More than 95% of all US mothers are internet users, spending about three and a half hours per day on it. (Edison Research, “Moms and Media 2017)
  2. Moms are nearly ubiquitous smartphone usage with 9 in 10 reporting they own a smartphone as their digital sidekick. (Edison Research, “Moms and Media 2017)
  3. 75% of millennial moms research products on their smartphone while they’re out shopping. (Roth Capital Partners)
  4. Nearly 90% of US mothers are social network users. Among them, nine in 10 use Facebook alone. (Edison Research, “Moms and Media 2017)
  5. Adweek reported that 51% of millennial moms said a recommendation from other millennial moms is an important part of the decision process when buying items for the family.
  6. 70.8% of mothers reported, “When I need information, the first place I look is the internet.” (Simmons Research)
  7. Research is all important with 69 percent of moms searching on the internet on blogs, websites, forums. (Ipsos/Ketchum February 2017 poll)
  8. Moms are spending an average of 21 hours 32 minutes per week with their smartphones. One-third of that time was on social media. (Nielsen)

An illustrative Snapchat could be something like this. Waking up, she consults her Amazon Echo for the weather and tells the device to add a few items to her shopping list. She might even use it to begin her comparison shopping before she heads to the store. Before she shops, she’ll check her email for promotions. She might solicit some tips or opinions from other parents on Facebook before she leaves the house. She will most likely collaborate with her child on the shopping list. 

Most moms will have at least two+ shopping apps already downloaded on her mobile device, which she will check for new deals or those she’s stored in her digital wallet. Once the morning chores are caught up, she might check her favorite retailers on her laptop or tablet, while watching TV talk shows or the news. Once in the store, she’ll use her mobile phone to double check prices, perhaps look for store offers served up because she will enable geo-location if you offer her the right value exchange for doing so. Moms today are digitally savvy and she’s an early adopter of anything that makes her life easier and helps her get things done.

If you’ve given your mom a great user experience in-store and online she will probably post her happiness on social media. And if her back-to-school shopping is a success and she has made quite the “savings” haul, she might return home to capture the purchases on Facebook or through an Instagram Story or video.

Just remember today’s mom are omni-channel so you need to be.

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Holly Pavlika

SVP, Marketing & Content at Collective Bias

Holly oversees marketing and PR. Holly, also a blogger, founded MOMentumNation while serving as the Executive Creative Director and Managing Director at Big Fuel, a pure play social media agency. She is an award-winning creative marketing industry veteran who was recognized in 2012 by Klout as the “most influential agency person” and uses her voice for social good with 10X10 Educate Girls, Every Mother Counts, Global Poverty Project and the UN Foundation Shot@Life campaign.