Friday, August 26, 2016

Back-to-School Shopping: Should Your Small Business Get Involved

From Ondeck

The back-to-school season is a big one: according to the National Retail Federation, it will reach around $68 billion this year. Even if you don’t sell pencils, it’s tempting to want to grab a piece of the pie. But is it worth your small business marketing dollars to try to win some of these back-to-school shoppers?

The back-to-school season starts early, with at least 25% of K-12 parents saying they begin researching and shopping by early July. Parents of K-12 and college-bound kids will spend between $600 and $900 per student, on average.

However, despite the dollars flying around, on everything from notebooks to clothes, electronics, dorm furnishings, and convenience items, there’s a downward trend in the back-to-school season. There are fewer shoppers predicted this year, and most families will be spending less per student than last year. It’s still a huge shopping season, but small business owners need to remember what these shoppers want most: the lowest possible prices. For 61% of back-to-school shoppers, sales and promotions are a top decision factor; 74% will seek good deals over prioritizing shopping at small businesses; and at least 64% will shop at mass retailers.

Is it worth the effort, then, for a small business to do back-to-school marketing? To find out, ask yourself these two important questions about your small business.

1. Does my primary product/service fit into back-to-school (or back-to-college) needs?

2. Can I offer what back-to-school shoppers want?

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