In a year where retail and CPG are bouncing back hard from sluggish, pandemic-induced sales shortfalls, there may be no better chance to get in on the boom than this year’s back to school shopping season. As parents prepare for fully reopened schools and an end to virtual learning, many will look for a fresh start for their children in the 2021 school year.
The projected spending for back-to-school shopping this year is not only set to be a vast improvement on the dismal numbers of 2020, but spending is even set to outpace pre-pandemic levels. According to a report from Mastercard, total spending is projected to increase by 6.7% on 2019 totals.
The average spend per student is set to rise from $250 to $270 this year, with the largest gains coming in retail and dollars spent at department stores. And, even though ecommerce spending is expected to dip as reopening measures make brick and mortar a viable option again for parents, shoppers are anticipating an omnichannel experience in their buyer’s journey. According to a Shopkick survey, 85 percent of respondents have indicated that they will use their mobile devices while shopping, either during checkout or to compare prices on products.
As retailers and brands look to capitalize on this increased spending, they’re going to need to leverage all the tools at their disposal to not only identify specific consumer discount dependency, but also make the discounting and promotions process as seamless as possible.
Identifying the Right Discount for the Right Customer
During a back-to-school shopping season where 48 percent of shoppers expect to spend more than they have in years past, it’s important for brands and retailers to not fall into the trap of over-discounting. If a customer will be motivated to make a purchase at 5% off or no discount at all, giving a blanket offer of 25% to all customers can have a twofold negative impact. First off, margins suffer when customers are getting lower prices than they need to motivate a transaction; and secondly, it creates discount dependency, where customers begin to expect deeper and deeper discounts with future purchases.
Leveraging modern tools in pricing and promotion, like the RevTrax Offer Management Platform, can give brands and retailers a full picture of what motivates a consumer, delivering just the right offer to convert, while simultaneously minding margins. The data gleaned from this purchase data can also be used to fuel insights for further promotions efforts to optimize offers going forward.
And, while tools like the Offer Management Platform are built for ecommerce performance, other channels, like email, can also benefit from next-gen tools that integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning. RevTrax’s AI Driven Email Offers takes individual consumer-level data and optimizes promotions in real-time, ensuring that consumers only get the discount they need to drive a purchase. By taking margins seriously in emails and ecommerce, brands and retailers are able to maximize their revenue during peak shopping seasons like back to school.
Giving Omnichannel Consumers What They Want
As we mentioned, not only is the type of offer a consumer receives important for a brand’s bottom line, but it’s also essential to provide a frictionless experience to customers in store and online. With a tool like RevTrax’s eReceipt Rewards, CPG brands that don’t have a robust direct-to-consumer platform are able to give customers direct digital offers that can be redeemed at any retailer that carries the brand both in-store and online.
A tool like eReceipt Rewards gives brands the ability to offer consumers direct discounts without relying on the retailer. They simply deliver the offer to the consumer, the consumer activates the offer, purchases the product, and then receives their reward with proof of purchase. As more consumers are integrating their phones into their shopping experience, eReceipt Rewards helps to provide a seamless way for brands to deliver value to consumers, all without the need for an additional app.
As brands begin building more direct-to-consumer programs, eReceipt Rewards can also help build actionable data for the future. By providing value in the promotional transaction, brands are also given attribution for the purchase, which can be used to fuel further consumer outreach and promotions programs.
There is big money to be made this back-to-school shopping season, and both brands and retailers can maximize margins while providing optimal customer experiences to make the most of this return to form for the industry. By leveraging modern tools in pricing and promotions, everybody stands to win.
For more information on RevTrax’s next-gen pricing and promotions tools, get in touch with one of our experts today.